Bikers have vowed to stand guard outside New Zealand mosques as Muslims take part in their first Friday prayer following the Christchurch shootings.
Gangs like The Mongrel Mob, King Cobra, and The Black Power have promised to protect their local Muslim communities across the country, after 50 people were killed and 50 injured in the attack on March 15.
Waikato Mongrel Mob president Sonny Fatu offered to shield the Jamia Masjid Mosque in Hamilton as reported by The Business Insider.
“We will support and assist our Muslim brothers and sisters for however long they need us,” Fatu told New Zealand news outlet, Stuff.
He explained how The Mongrel Mob were contacted by representatives saying members of the Muslim community were fearful about Friday prayers.
Fatu said: “The question was posed whether we could be a part of the safety net for them to allow them to pray in peace without fear.
“Of course we would do that, there was no question about that and we will be dressed appropriately.”
“We will not be armed. We are peacefully securing the inner gated perimeter, with other community members, to allow them to feel at ease.”
Dr Asad Mohsin, head of the Waikato Muslim Association said he appreciated the support received from “different sections of society, different interests, and dispositions.”
He added: “It all gives us strength to overcome the grief we are undergoing.
“We would welcome them to come into the mosque and pray with us. They are part of us as we are part of them.
“Islam is inclusive, free of judgement — we don’t see gang members, as we see them.
We value them as humans and we appreciate that they value us too.”
Dr Mohsin also told the New Zealand Herald: “There are no fears, and we are not scared. They don’t have to stand outside the mosque, they can come inside, right behind where the sermon is given.”
Members of The King Cobra gang also paid their respects to senior members of the Al-Masjid Al-Jamie mosque in Ponsonby on Saturday.
Other Mongrel Mob chapters have also shown their support throughout the country, including the Aotearoa branch who paid their respects at Hagley College school in Christchurch.
Even one of the gang’s Australian chapters has reportedly been patrolling a mosque in Sydney.
May Allah bless all who are showing this incredible empathy.