Delta’s Baitur Rahman Mosque will hold a silent prayer vigil this weekend for the victims of the terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, and organizers are inviting the public to join them.
Apart from commemorating the 50 worshippers who were killed during their prayer service last Friday, it is important to show solidarity for the community during trying times, said Irfan Chaudhry, public relations director for the Muslim faith organization Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at.
“It is important for all the communities and the members of the public to understand that this is very saddening, very upsetting, but also very appalling to not just Muslim groups but mankind at large,” Chaudhry told the Reporter.
“These events are happening very often and it’s due to a lack of knowledge and a lack of tolerance of different faiths.”
Imam Tariq Azeem said Tuesday the New Zealand attacks has the congregation on alert.
“The majority of the population of the world is peace loving and we need to educate the smallest percentage,” said Azeem, before leading the congregation in a nearly filled hall through an afternoon prayer.
The vigil, which will be held at 7:30 p.m. this Saturday (March 23), coincides with a Canada-wide “Visit a Mosque” campaign by the organization with the aim to combat Islamophobia in the country.
Chaudhry added that people do not need to bring anything but an open mind and compassion for what happened in New Zealand.
“If they wish to tour the mosque or ask questions about Islam, this would be a really good opportunity,” he added.
He believes the Delta community has “an incredible amount of tolerance,” but that he also sees a surge of white supremacy around the world which targets Muslims and other non-Christian believers.
“We’ve enjoyed Delta as our headquarters for over 20 years now, and we’ve experienced very few issues,” he said. “The vast majority have always been supportive and encouraging while we were building the mosque.”
For more information, Chaudhry said to tweet them at @ahmadiyyaYVR (twitter.com/AhmadiyyaYVR).
— with files from Joti Grewal