Hate came to two Christchurch mosques yesterday. Today, 1000 kilometres away in Auckland, love came.

It was there in the home-picked flowers placed carefully in jam jars, the toots from passing motorists, the heartfelt notes of hope and unity, and the tears of those who gathered outside Masjid e Umar mosque in Mt Roskill to show their support for the Muslim faith after 49 worshippers were killed in a terrorist attack in Christchurch yesterday.

Flowers and messages of support were also laid at Ponsonby Masjid this morning.

Qais Azimi outside his mosque, Masjid e Umar, in Mt Roskill, Auckland. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Qais Azimi outside his mosque, Masjid e Umar, in Mt Roskill, Auckland. Photo / Jason Oxenham

Masjid e Umar worshipper and teacher Qais Azimi, gathered by the flower and candle-lined gate of the closed mosque, acted as a beacon for a steady stream of those from a range of faiths and ethnicities this morning.

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One middle-aged man clad in T-shirt and shorts approached Azimi, hugged him and said, choking back tears, 'It's so sad' before rushing away, distraught.

Afterwards Azimi, who did not know the man, told the Herald the embrace comforted both.

"We looked after each other."

Dozens of floral tributes and notes line the fence of Masjid e Umar mosque in Mt Roskill. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Dozens of floral tributes and notes line the fence of Masjid e Umar mosque in Mt Roskill. Photo / Jason Oxenham

He came to New Zealand from Afghanistan 19 years ago and had always felt safe, he said outside the mosque where for a time this morning two armed police officers stood guard.

"Now I question that."

However, the community's response this morning was welcomed.

"Good on them for sharing their condolences with us. We thank them a lot."

Armed officers were outside Masjid e Umar mosque in Mt Roskill following yesterday's deadly terrorist attack on mosques in Christchurch. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Armed officers were outside Masjid e Umar mosque in Mt Roskill following yesterday's deadly terrorist attack on mosques in Christchurch. Photo / Jason Oxenham

Fellow Muslim Adel Shannaq, a Mt Roskill local, said he was also feeling unsafe in New Zealand for the first time since emigrating from Jordan in 2011.

He had chosen to watch footage of the atrocity, after it was shared widely online, because he wanted to "be there" for the victims, Shannaq said.

"I felt that I want to be there to support my brothers and sisters."

Tributes left with flowers at Masjid e Umar mosque. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Tributes left with flowers at Masjid e Umar mosque. Photo / Jason Oxenham

Despite the horror, he still thought New Zealand "is the best country".

"I've never felt racism here."

However, Mt Albert man Mohammed Ross Scott, who came to the mosque yesterday with his partner Helen King, said despite being born in New Zealand he had at times felt afraid because of his name and his Muslim faith.

"As soon as people hear that name ..."

Helen King and Mohammed Ross Scott at Masjid e Umar mosque this morning. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Helen King and Mohammed Ross Scott at Masjid e Umar mosque this morning. Photo / Jason Oxenham

King described seeing armed police at the mosque as shocking.

"It's horrifying there are people in our community that don't feel safe to carry on a human right, which is to practise their religion ... I think we've ignored Islamophobia for a long time, and this is the result."

Blockhouse Bay mum and daughter Clare and Monique Otto picked white chrysanthemums from their garden to leave outside the mosque.

Clare Otto with her daughter Monique Otto chose white chrysanthemums from their garden to show support for the Muslim community. Photo / Jason Oxehnam
Clare Otto with her daughter Monique Otto chose white chrysanthemums from their garden to show support for the Muslim community. Photo / Jason Oxehnam

The choice of colour was deliberate, Monique Otto, 20, said.

"They show innocence ... we will not let hatred win, and love will overpower all."