Kelowna Muslim students hold vigil to support New Zealand victims

A vigil will be held Monday night at UBC Okanagan

Kelowna students are showing their support to the New Zealand Muslim community after attacks at two mosques last week left 49 people dead.

“Our hearts are bleeding and broken by the sickening news of the two mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand. Words cannot describe the pain we are in for our Muslim brothers and sisters who were victims of these vile terrorist attacks. We pray that the God (Glory be to Him, the Most High) forgives the victims of the terrible tragedy, accepts them as martyrs and enters them into the highest levels of Jannah (paradise). We pray that God showers Sabr (patience) upon the grieving families of the victims as well as upon the rest of the global Muslim family,” said the Muslim Students’ Association at UBCO in a Facebook post.

READ MORE: When gunman advanced on New Zealand mosque, 1 man ran at him

“The victims of the shootings at the two mosques were attending the Jumu’ah/Friday prayers, and while it is understandable for us to feel afraid to attend our local Jumu’ah/Friday prayer today, we must not let fear dictate our ability to pray and we must continue to live as proud Muslims. We must not let the perpetrators of these attacks win by scaring us away from our mosques, which are the very soul of our communities.”

A vigil will be held Monday night at 6 p.m. at the UNC building in room 106.

Last week, president of the association Sumayia Abedin said the attacks on the two New Zealand mosques hit close to home.

“This attack isn’t coming out of nowhere… it’s a product of a long sustained hateful Islamic messaging,” Abedin said.

READ MORE: Quebec City Muslim worshippers condemn fatal New Zealand mosque attacks

If the perpetrators had actually taken time to learn about Muslims, they may have not committed the act, she said.

As an international and visible Muslim student, Kelowna has been welcoming and accepting, she said. Her message is to stay positive.

READ MORE: Kelowna Muslim student says deadly New Zealand attacks ‘hits close to home’

READ MORE: 49 killed at mosques in ‘one of New Zealand’s darkest days’

READ MORE: Scheer makes statement on mosque attacks after backlash for no mention of Muslims

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