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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension faces potential delays due to COVID-19

Pandemic ‘adversely’ impacting TransLink’s finances; ‘much work’ required to approve next investment plan

SIMPSON: For real leadership amid crisis, look west of Scott Road

Delta council, under direction of Mayor George Harvie, defines leadership during pandemic

PHOTOS: Loved ones reunite at Peace Arch Park ‘oasis’

Officials closed the park in mid-March over coronavirus concerns

Cloverdale businessman funds wells in Cambodia

Revive Washing in Clayton Heights donates three per cent of profits to charity

Cloverdale youth pastor’s sexual-assault sentencing delayed

Samuel Emerson due to return to Surrey Provincial Court in August

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

VIDEO: Police look for suspect seen tripping elderly woman in Burnaby

The elderly woman was walking near the SkyTrain station when she was randomly tripped

Chilliwack teachers, assistants concerned with lack of PPE guidelines ahead of school reopening

As schools get ready to open, many worry measures won’t be enough to protect students from COVID-19

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

Most Read