Local organizations, faith leaders and politicians roundly condemned the attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, with widespread calls for unity in the wake of the shootings that left 49 people dead.

Saima Jamal, who launched efforts to organize a vigil outside city hall Friday evening, said the attacks left her “shaking uncontrollably.”

“That just broke me,” the community organizer said in an interview. “People were so upset.”

Jamal said there was a sense of fear among some members of the local community as Muslims prepared to attend Friday prayers.

“There’s people just wondering, you know, this can happen to any one of us,” she said.

Calgary police said they work closely with other law enforcement agencies to share information and that “there are no known threats to mosques in Calgary as a result of the attacks in Christchurch.”

“Our Diversity Resources Team is actively engaging with Muslim community members here in Calgary,” the police service said in a statement. “If we receive any intelligence about a threat that requires additional resources, we have protocols in place that make it possible to get those resources very quickly.”

The Islamic Supreme Council of Canada and Muslims Against Terrorism expressed their sympathies and solidarity with the Muslim community of New Zealand, and said “we must unite against hate.”

The groups organized a memorial service Friday afternoon at the Genesis Centre of Community Wellness.

A separate memorial event took place outside Calgary city hall Friday evening.

The Muslim Council of Calgary said the group and its affiliate organizations condemn the tragic shootings at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch.

“This is an attack on basic human values, and we need to stand in solidarity with all to condemn this heinous attack,” the group said in a news release.

Premier Rachel Notley visited Akram Jomaa Islamic Centre in Calgary just before Friday afternoon prayers.

“No one should feel unsafe because of where and how they worship,” she told the thousands of people gathered at the centre. “Together, we must continue the fight against racism, hate, intolerance and religious persecution of all forms, including Islamophobia.”

Notley said the provincial government is moving forward with a plan to establish a hate-crimes unit.

“This team will assemble specialists from various police forces with the mandate to focus exclusively on investigating the proliferation of hate groups and hate crimes in Alberta,” she said.

The premier was joined by politicians across Alberta and Canada in speaking out against the attacks in …read more

Source:: Calgaryherald.com


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‘Unite against hate’: Reaction across Alberta to mosque attacks in New Zealand

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