Muslims in Vancouver are reacting with shock and sadness to the New Zealand mosque shootings.
Munir Ahmad said the tragic events were front of mind in his morning prayers at Al Masjid Al-Jamia on West 8th Avenue.
“I prayed for the families and the Muslim community and New Zealand as well, and even for those related to the attackers,” he said.
“We are very sad about those who died and the so many injured,” said a man entering the B.C. Muslim Association office on Kingsway, who asked not to be identified. “It shouldn’t happen anywhere.”
Forty-nine people were killed and another 48 injured in shootings at two mosques filled with worshippers during Friday prayers in Christchurch.
Three people are in custody and one man has been charged with murder. According to Australian media reports, he is 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant.
A man claiming to be the gunman reportedly livestreamed the shooting on his now-deleted Twitter account. He also allegedly posted an anti-immigrant manifesto.
The Vancouver Police Department says it is not taking any extra precautions at this time, but that it will remain in close communication with local Muslim leaders to ensure the community feels safe and supported.
“We have security experts that are in regular communication with other local, national and international agencies to share information and strategies,” said VPD spokesperson Const. Jason Doucette
Ahmad said he was not feeling nervous about his own safety in light of the New Zealand attack.
“I feel those types of incidents, it takes a lot of hatred to do that and I don’t think that’s part of our community, in Canada especially.”
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