Islamic leaders have vowed to hold Friday prayer at Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch exactly one week after an armed terrorist gunned down 42 worshippers.
The Deans Ave mosque's religious leader Imam Gamal Fouda, who survived New Zealand's worst ever terror attack, said the move will show the world that Muslims, and all New Zealanders, will not bow down to terror.
"We are going to prayer here on Friday," said Fouda today, speaking to the Herald at the cordon across the road from the mass murder scene.
"The majority of people, including myself, we decided to come and prayer close to our site. We will never forsake it to please those people who actually attacked us."
Linwood Mosque Imam Alabi Lateef Zirullah also confirmed to the Herald that his congregation will join Friday prayer at Al Noor Mosque.
There is still a cordon patrolled by armed police around the building across from Hagley Park in central Christchurch. It has been a pilgrimage site for thousands of Cantabrians laying flowers, leaving messages, and paying their respects over the last five days.
A massive clean-up operation is underway inside the mosque. Fouda has vowed that the mosque will be rebuilt on its existing site, with carpet replaced, and walls, windows, and roof being fixed.
Today was Fouda's third visit to the site since Friday's shooting, which began 5-6 minutes into his Friday prayer sermon. He survived by hiding in the main room, huddled against the wall with other terrified worshippers.
"I'm coming back here [feeling] stronger," he told the Herald today.
"We need to stand as one community and show that we are still strong and that people will not break us. As Muslims, as New Zealanders, we will stand strong.
"We want to send a strong message, that nothing will break us as New Zealanders, and as Muslims particularly. It also sends a strong message to the world that New Zealand is still the safest place in the world and will continue to be."
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed there will be two minutes' silence on Friday to mark the loss of life in the Christchurch terror attack
The call to prayer would also be broadcast on Radio NZ and TVNZ.
Meanwhile, the first victims of the shooting, which claimed 50 lives, were buried in Christchurch today.
Six victims were laid to rest in the Muslim section of Memorial Park Cemetery in eastern Christchurch today.
There are still plans for a mass funeral to happen at Memorial Park Cemetery, likely to happen over the next three days, senior figures in the local Muslim community have told the Herald.
At this stage, it's likely to include around 32 victims. The decision of whether to have a private funeral, or be part of the mass funeral, is up to each individual family. Some families are opting to have their loved ones flown back to their country of birth.