Canadians were heartbroken to learn that a mosque shooting in New Zealand today tragically claimed the lives of 49 people. It was even revealed that the shooter was "inspired" by Alexandre Bissonnette, who is the Canadian responsible for the deadly Quebec City mosque shooting. Now, Canadian Muslims are scared to go to their local mosque after the New Zealand Attack.
Police forces across Canada have increased their presence near mosques today in light of the attack, but that might not be enough to reassure locals. Some Muslims in Calgary are now scared to attend services at their local mosque, according to CBC News.
Not only are people afraid to go to their mosque, but Muslims in Calgary are also warning each other to be extra cautious if they do end up going to their local mosque. The Muslim community is devastated by the fatal shootings at New Zealand mosques.
Saima Jamal, a Calgary activist, told CBC News in an interview that terror attacks on Muslims always hit home and devastate Muslim communities, even if they take place somewhere else in the world.
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.
"I was just completely devastated," she said. "I couldn't believe how much hate there was for these people going to Friday prayer. I mean I go every Friday to a mosque for prayers and this could have been any one of us."
Now, several Calgary Muslims are telling Jamal that they are scared to attend mosque today for Friday prayers. "People are already scared," she said. "There are people saying things like, 'Be careful when you go to the mosque today, be vigilant, pray — pray hard.' People are going to be sad, people are going to flock to the mosque."
A prayer vigil will be held tonight at 7 PM at City Hall in Calgary for the victims of the New Zealand mosques shootings and their families.
Our deepest sympathies & condolences to the people of #Christchurch affected by this horrific attack. While there are no known threats to mosques here in Calgary, our CPS Diversity Resources Team is engaging with Muslim community members & we stand ready to protect our community.
Calgary Police tried to reassure locals in a tweet today and said that there were "no known threats to mosques here in Calgary" and they were "ready to protect our community".
The Muslim Council of Calgary has also released a statement about the terror attack. "We ask the Muslim community to please be patient, be vigilant and pray for all in these testing times," it said. "This is an attack on basic human values, and we need to stand in solidarity with all to condemn this heinous attack."
Source: CBC News