New Zealand’s most senior Muslim police officer thanks King Salman for making Hajj dream come true

Superintendent Naila Hassan of the New Zealand police. (Supplied photo)
Updated 09 August 2019

New Zealand’s most senior Muslim police officer thanks King Salman for making Hajj dream come true

  • Superintendent Naila Hassan praises Saudi Arabia for Hajj ‘generosity’
  • "As much as it’s a journey for me, I’m here for the victims," she says in a video

JEDDAH: Just over four months ago, police superintendent Naila Hassan was giving an emotional speech at a vigil in New Zealand for the 51 people murdered in the Christchurch mosque terrorist attack.

Now Hassan, New Zealand’s most senior Muslim police officer, is in Makkah to take part in the Hajj pilgrimage — and her dream has come true.

“As a Muslim, you just dream about seeing the Kaaba and going to Makkah and Madinah,” she said in a video thanking Saudi King Salman for hosting the Christchurch pilgrims.

“When I saw the Kaaba this morning, I was breathless, I really was.

“But … as much as it’s a journey for me, I’m here for the victims … I’m here particularly for the women and the widows that are here. I’m here to support them.”

Vigil in Auckland

Hassan described how she and about 200 other pilgrims were welcomed with petals, singing and gifts. “I’ve never experienced anything like it in my life,” she said.

“I’m thanking King Salman for his generosity. He has just been unbelievably generous to the people of New Zealand.”

The day after the March 15 Christchurch massacre, Hassan gave a speech at a vigil in Auckland in support of the Muslim community and fellow New Zealanders.

Opening with the Islamic greeting, she reassured the crowd that police were providing support to the Muslim community and everyone affected.

Saudi Arabia's Islamic Affairs Minister Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Asheikh said on Sunday that hosting the Christchurch pilgrims was part of Saudi efforts to “confront and defeat terrorism” in all its forms.


Prophet’s Mosque to open to public in stages from Sunday

Updated 56 min 2 sec ago

Prophet’s Mosque to open to public in stages from Sunday

  • The Saudi minister of Islamic affairs announced the readiness of the Kingdom’s mosques to welcome worshippers
  • “Throughout our inspection trips, we found our mosques to have completed preparations and are in the best condition,” he said

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced that the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah will gradually open to the public starting Sunday.
Mosques across the Kingdom, except for those in Makkah, will open their doors to worshippers on Sunday as part of an ease in the curfew restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Saudi minister of Islamic affairs announced on Friday the readiness of the Kingdom’s mosques to welcome worshippers after he completed field trips to check on necessary preparations.
“Throughout our inspection trips, we found our mosques to have completed preparations and are in the best condition,” Abdullatif bin Abdulaziz Al-Sheikh said.