Worshippers and community members came to the Baitur Rahman Mosque on Saturday night (March 23) to hold a prayer vigil for the victims of the Christchurch attacks. (Saša Lakić photo)

Delta mosque holds silent prayer vigil for Christchurch victims

Event emphasized the importance of acceptance, solidarity in the wake of the attack on Muslim worshippers

Dozens of Deltans gathered at the Baitur Rahman Mosque Saturday night to show support for the Muslim community in the wake of a mass shooting at a pair of mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand that that left 50 worshippers dead and many more injured.

Attendees held a silent prayer vigil for the victims of the terrorist attack, in which an alleged white supremacist opened fire during Friday prayer services at two mosques on March 15.

Delta Mayor George Harvie commended the mosque’s decision to keep its gates open as a way to show that fear has not taken hold in this “diverse community.” He offered his thoughts to the affected and said not to give into or be intimidated by such attacks.

“It’s very humbling and also disturbing to be here today because of what a coward did,” Harvie told the crowd in the mosque’s courtyard on the evening of March 23. ”It’s amazing how many people are brave behind a keyboard nowadays and with a terrible weapon.”

Delta Police Chief Neil Dubord emphasized the need to have peaceful dialogue during these calamitous times and to stick together as a community and work through our differences.

“Dialogue is always much better when it’s done in peace,” he told the audience. “But from tragedy sometimes, dialogue and meaningful change does happen. So it’s time to stand up against hate. It’s time to stand up for peace, and it begins with us gathering here tonight on this important vigil.”

Imam Tariq Azeem told the Reporter that having the community and its leaders come out to the vigil creates hope in spite of people’s concerns about safety, not only in Canada but around the world. He said he still thinks the majority of the world and Canada is made up of peaceful people, but he believes it’s prudent to be vigilant in all places of worship, not just mosques.

“It shows that none of the places of worship are safe,” the imam said. “So when we come together in solidarity in this manner, it reminds us that the majority of the world still believes in peace.”

Azeem explained the the basic message of Islam, as in all religions, is “love for all, hatred for none,” and that educating oneself about Islam first-hand would help to dispel some of the malevolent myths about the faith.

“So instead of believe in things one might have read online or heard from people here and there, I encourage people to visit a mosque in their locality and meet with Muslims,” Azeem suggested. “They would find it a very comforting experience They would understand that Muslims are a very peaceful group.”



sasha.lakic@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Worshippers and community members came to the Baitur Rahman Mosque on Saturday night (March 23) to hold a prayer vigil for the victims of the Christchurch attacks. (Saša Lakić photo)

Worshippers and community members came to the Baitur Rahman Mosque on Saturday night (March 23) to hold a prayer vigil for the victims of the Christchurch attacks. (Saša Lakić photo)

Just Posted

South Surrey mom optimistic changes ahead for recovery homes

Maggie Plett met with Min. Judy Darcy Thursday

Surrey lotto winner plans to spoil his kids

Attila Kelemen won $500K in the Daily Grand draw, held on July 8

Uphill battle for Cloverdale cyclist, 64, and her daughters in Cypress Challenge charity ride

Robyn Wells has lost both of her parents and two uncles to pancreatic cancer

Surrey mayor dissolves public safety committee, creates one for police transition

Locke slams the move, saying who McCallum appoints to the committee will be ‘a very large tell’

Canadian national softball team wins second straight Canada Cup

Team Canada defeats Texas-based Scrapyard International in gold-medal game Sunday in South Surrey

‘Bad choices make good stories’: Margaret Trudeau brings her show to Just for Laughs

Trudeau says over the decades she has been suicidal, manic, depressed

UPDATE: Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

B.C.-wide police efforts identify Vancouver Island robbery suspect

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

B.C. couple bring son home from Nigeria after long adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran of Abbotsford spent almost a year waiting to finalize adoption of Ayo, 3

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Most Read

l -->