Cat Stevens addressed the crowd at Hagley Park with an emotional speech before performing at the National Remembrance Service for the victims of the Christchurch terror attacks.
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The music icon, who became a Muslim in the late '70s and changed his name to Yusuf Islam, was joined on stage by his close friend, Kiwi musician Bruce Lynch on the bass.
"Our hearts go out to the families of those whose lives were snatched away in that evil carnage, while they were worshipping in the mosque two weeks ago," he said.
"We learn about things through their opposites. The evilness of that act, and what drove it, we find its opposite - which is the love and kindness and unity which has sprung up right here in New Zealand.
"That love and unity is actually what all the prophets and messengers of the divine taught.
"The last prophet, Mohammed, peace be upon him, said that all of the prophets are brothers. Their mothers are different, but the religion is one."
Stevens went on to perform three songs, including classic hit 'Peace Train'.
"Our prayers go to those shining souls whose lives were snatched away in that moment of madness," he concluded.
"May peace be upon them. Peace in this world may take a bit longer."