East Yorkers stand in solidarity with Muslim community following mass shootings in Christchurch

Hundreds of people join 'Ring of Peace' vigil outside of Madinah Masjid on Danforth

Students outside of Madinah Masjid on Danforth Avenue
Students from Danforth and Greenwood Secondary Schools showed support for worshippers at the Madinah Masjid in response to the mass shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, last week.  Isabel Terrell/Toronto Observer

Hundreds of people of all faiths gathered outside a Danforth mosque to show support for their Muslim neighbours as they entered their first Friday prayers after mass shootings at two New Zealand mosques last week.

“May all be safe when they show up for worship,” said Rabbi Miriam Margles of the Danforth Jewish Circle as she addressed the crowd through a megaphone.

The “Ring of Peace” vigil was organized by the Danforth Multifaith Community and the Danforth Jewish Circle to stand in solidarity with members of the Madinah Masjid at 1015 Danforth Ave. Students and faculty from Danforth  and Greenwood Secondary Schools also participated.

Vigil outside of Madinah Masjid

A crowd of hundreds gathered in a ‘Ring of Peace’ outside of the Madinah Masjid with supportive signs on March 22, 2019. (Isabel Terrell/Toronto Observer)

“Talk about what scares you right now … and notice where there is evidence of goodness and hope so that we are grounded in clear, resilient, and brave visions of our world, and of each other,” said Margles.

People began to gather outside of the Madinah Masjid around 1 p.m. as worshippers entered the mosque. When the service began, members of the mosque opened its doors and invited the large crowd to sit in for their prayers.

Members of the mosque filled the first floor while the entire second floor brimmed with supporters. The service, led by Imam Mufti Abdullah Mangera, was focused on messages of faith and strength.

Fifty victims were shot and killed at two Christchurch, New Zealand, mosques last Friday. Dozens more were injured.

The gunman, 28, originally from Australia, has been charged in connection with the murders. New Zealand police say they “strongly believe” the man was on his way to a third site when he was stopped.

It has since been discovered that the shooter was engaged in far-right white nationalist group, and live-streamed the attacks on his Facebook page.

At least 16 vigils were held around mosques around the GTA on Friday afternoon, according to Margles.

Members of the Madinah Masjid lined up to shake hands and thank community members for their support at the end of the service.

“The foundation of any religion is love,” said Zahra Imani, a member of the Madinah Masjid. Her eyes began to well with tears as she spoke.

“We just need to go back a little bit. Take a few seconds to reset your heart, and send out a prayer instead of negative energy.”

About this article

Posted: Mar 24 2019 10:50 am
Filed under: News