Winnipeg Muslim community shocked, speechless about shooting in New Zealand

Winnipeg Muslim community shocked, speechless about shooting in New Zealand
Muslims heading to Winnipeg’s Central Mosque for morning prayers Friday expressed shock and sorrow over a horrific tragedy unfolding on the other side of the world.

“I don’t know what to say … We’re praying for the people who lost their lives,” said one man.

Global reporter Malika Karim told 680 CJOB Friday morning that people heading out after prayers left upset and angry.

“There were lots of tears,” she said. “A lot of sentiment of Islam being a peaceful religion.

“All they can do right now is pray.”

Karim said security doesn’t appear to be an issue at the mosque this morning.

Shahina Siddiqui, executive director of the Islamic Social Services Association in Winnipeg called the situation “surreal.”

“There’s always a concern, if something overseas, we see a rise on social media of hate … it’s always a constant. But what can you do, you cannot stop living,” she said.

The hardest part is talking to her children and grandchildren about it, Siddiqui said.

“You want them to hear it from you but you also want them to feel secure,” she said.

After the mosque shooting in Quebec “our children were very frightened to go to the mosque, that’s our place of worship, that’s our sanctuary.”

One man in his late 20s was charged with murder in connection with the incidents, the commissioner of the New Zealand Police said.

Canadian politicians offered their condolences and condemnation Friday.

Freedom of religion, peace and rule of law are pillars of democracy and the world we share. On behalf of all Manitobans we strongly condemn the horrific shootings in New Zealand. Our prayers are with the victims of this senseless attack and their loved ones.

Deeply saddened by today’s New Zealand, #Christchurch mosque attack. My thoughts & prayers are with all those affected by this terrorist incident. Winnipeggers stand in solidarity with members of our Muslim community here and around the globe.

Attacking people during prayers is absolutely appalling, and Canada strongly condemns today’s shootings in New Zealand. Our thoughts and hearts go out to the victims and their families, and we join New Zealanders and Muslim communities around the world in grieving.
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