‘Horrific terrorist attack’: Calgarians condemn massacre at Christchurch mosques
Calgarians are sharing condolences and well wishes for those affected by a massacre at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, that left dozens of people dead and injured.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the mass shooting “can only be described as a terrorist attack.”
In a statement emailed to Global News, the Calgary Police Service (CPS) said at this point, there are no known threats to mosques in Calgary as a result of the attacks in Christchurch.
“Our Diversity Resources Team is actively engaging with Muslim community members here in Calgary,” CPS stated. “If we receive any intelligence about a threat that requires additional resources, we have protocols in place that make it possible to get those resources very quickly”.
Speaking with Global News on Thursday evening, Junaid Mahoon from the Islamic Centre of South Calgary condemned the attacks.
“These types of violent acts are unacceptable in any society and in any religion … we pray for the victims in New Zealand.”
WATCH: Calgarians are speaking out against a massacre at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand that left dozens of people dead and injured. Doug Vaessen has details.
The Muslim Council of Calgary (MCC), meanwhile, released a statement denouncing the attacks.
“We offer our prayers and deepest condolences to victims and their families,” a news release stated. “We ask the Muslim community to please be patient, be vigilant and pray for all in these testing times.”
The MCC said it condemns violence against anyone “irrespective of race, gender, religion, culture or ethnicity.”
“This is an attack on basic human values, an act of sheer terrorism planned and executed by [a] group of individuals intolerant to a specific faith.”
WATCH: ‘We have to have an open dialogue’: Islamic Centre of South Calgary’s president responds to terrorism in New Zealand
The Calgary Interfaith Council also is also denouncing the attacks, saying in a statement that “no one should ever fear for their safety when attending a house of worship” and “such a desecration of the fundamental right to practice one’s religion is abhorrent to all peace loving people.”
WATCH: Premier Rachel Notley offered condolences following the “act of terrorism” in New Zealand on behalf of the government of Alberta and Albertans.
The head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada (ISCC) Syed Soharwardy tweeted that the organization and Muslims Against Terrorism (MAT) both “strongly condemn” the massacre.
Soharwardy said the ISCC and MAT will hold a joint press conference at the Genesis Centre in northeast Calgary at 2 p.m.
Special prayers for the victims of the Christchurch shootings will be held at various locations throughout Calgary on Friday.
A vigil will be held at Calgary City Hall on Friday from 7 to 8 p.m.
Participants are asked to bring candles and signs denouncing hate and spreading messages of love and hope.
The MCC, meanwhile, said a special Friday prayer will be held at the Akram Jomaa Islamic Centre.
Canadian politicians condemn New Zealand shootings
In a tweet on Friday, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi condemned the “horrific terrorist attack” saying we must “commit ourselves to fighting hatred.”
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley expressed her condolences to everyone affected by the attack in a Thursday tweet.
“Albertans stand with you – I stand with you – and our hearts embrace you.”
Alberta UCP Leader Jason Kenney, meanwhile, called the attack an “unspeakable crime not only against human life, but also the freedom of religion.”
Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan released a statement saying he was “shocked and horrified” by the incident.
“This despicable terrorist attack on peaceful New Zealand is an assault on humanity throughout the world,” Khan said.
“We urge tolerance, inclusion and respect for all people. We fiercely condemn Islamophobia in all its forms. We stand with Muslim communities in New Zealand, Alberta and across the globe.”
Alberta Party leader Stephen Mandel tweeted that the attack was a “horrible tragedy”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted on Friday that Canada strongly condemns the shootings.
“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.”
Andrew Scheer, leader of the federal Conservatives, tweeted that there are no words strong enough to condemn “this kind of vile hatred.”
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