Windsor Muslims react with horror, resolve after Christchurch mosque massacre

Lewis Collier
March 16, 2019

Both mosques were full of worshippers attending Friday prayers when the shootings occurred.

"The problem is that it's not new", said Imam Yousef Wahb before mid-afternoon prayers.

"Part of that is addressing those types of things and fears that might be present now within the Muslim community of Saskatoon", he said.

"All of these tragedies, unfortunately, it wears you down", said Yasalar.

"We are a society, we are a province that has accepted 108,000 people from, I think, over 150 countries all around the world in the last decade".

But Yasalar said there is no escaping the horrendous magnitude of the events in Christchurch.

Peneha, who lives next door, said the gunman ran out of the mosque, dropped what appeared to be a semi-automatic weapon in his driveway and fled.

Officials said 41 people were killed at the Masjid Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch and seven were slain inside the Linwood Masjid Mosque, about three miles away from Masjid Al Noor.

"Sometimes when there's shootings, there's remorse, even though it may not mean anything".

He said they were praying "to our God of all peoples and of all cultures for peace, tolerance and good will".

"I saw dead people everywhere".

"Islam literally means peace, a religion which promotes peace". One person was later released.

The attack led to an outpouring of grief and shock that a white-supremacist fanatic could carry out a terrorist attack on such a scale in a country widely regarded as one of the world's most peaceful.

Ardern said the investigation was ongoing but authorities believed there was only "one primary perpetrator".

Police officers search the area near the Masjid Al Noor mosque site of one of the mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch New Zealand Saturday

"As a Member of our Pacific community, we stand with you shoulder to shoulder, heart to heart in this hard time coming to grips with what has happened".

"In our community, every time an incident like this happens, people get nervous".

Police also arrested a couple at a roadblock.

The gunman spends more than two minutes inside the mosque spraying terrified worshippers with bullets again and again, sometimes re-firing at people he has already cut down.

"When the flames of hatred are fanned, when people are demonized due to their faith, when people's fears are played on rather than addressed, the consequences are deadly, as we have seen so sadly today".

"And it's part of the blessings that we actually enjoy here in Canada". Her foreign minister, Heiko Maas, said: "When people are murdered exclusively due to their religion, this is an attack on us all".

Gardee said there is heightened anxiety in the Muslim community.

"We're hoping that wouldn't spread any fear in our youth, in our community", Wahb said.

"We can feel the pain because we have been the victim of this kind of shooting back in Pakistan".

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, condemned the attack.

The Muslim Law Association of Windsor is organizing a vigil for Tuesday at 6 the University of Windsor's Faculty of Law building.

Pacific Islands Forum Chair and president of Nauru Baron Waqa expressed his "deepest condolences" to the people and government of New Zealand on what he called a sad day for Christchurch and a sad day for the region.

The Saskatoon Police Service has increased its presence at five mosques in the city.

Omar Nabi speaks to the media about losing his father Haji Daoud in the mosque attacks, at the district court in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 16, 2019.

New Zealand prime minister says shooting suspect was a licensed gun owner
A man in his 20s has been charged with murder and will soon appear in court, according New Zealand's police commissioner. A vigil was held at Nathan Phillips Square to honour the victims of two mass shootings at New Zealand mosques.

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