In response to today's deadly terrorist attack at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, the Toronto Police Service is increasing their presence at mosques and other places of worship throughout the GTA. News broke on Friday about a tragic mass shooting that killed at least 49 people and wounded at least 20 others in New Zealand. According to reports, a heavily-armed gunman entered two mosques during Friday prayers before attacking unsuspecting worshipers.
He was eventually detained by police, but only after countless innocent people had succumbed to their injuries caused by the man's rampant, unprovoked, and ultimately fatal attack.
Toronto Police have already increased their presence around mosques before this afternoon's Friday Prayer, Islam's most important weekly prayer event. In York Region, Bait Ul Islam Mosque in Maple is being patrolled by the police helicopter, Air2.
Two police officers just walked into the Toronto Mosque and asked to the see the Imam.— Kamil Karamali (@KamilKaramali) March 15, 2019
They, then, proceeded to question him.
“Are you feeling safe?”
“Are you okay?”
“Can we do anything to help?”#ChristchurchAttack #ChristchurchMosqueAttack pic.twitter.com/ZbNBiieCa9
The mosque's Imam, Muhammed Mirza, informed CP24 that Friday's morning prayers would be held in memoriam of the victims of the Christchurch attack. He also told reporters that he prayed Canada would not endure any more violence.
"I hope and pray that Canada, which is best country in the world, stays calm and peaceful", he said.
Police units across the GTA confirmed there would be an increased presence of uniformed officers at all mosques. Toronto Police Services is currently urging any person who witnesses suspicious people or actions to contact their local police service immediately.
According to CP24, Peel Regional Police "were in contact with leaders" in the local Muslim community to discuss actions to maintain a safe and welcoming environment for worshipers.
The same steps are being taken in Durham Region, where police also reported that they were in contact with Imams and had increased uniformed patrols around mosques.
A vigil to honour and remember the victims of the New Zealand terrorist attack will be held tonight at 6 PM at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto.