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Halifax Muslim community comes together in wake of New Zealand mosque shootings

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WATCH: Halifax's Muslim community is coming together in the wake of the New Zealand mosque shootings, which claimed 49 lives. Meanwhile, the municipality is showing their support by offering condolences and messages of respect. Jesse Thomas reports – Mar 15, 2019

There has been a show of support for the Muslim community in Halifax, following the mass shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday.

The attack at two mosques in Christchurch claimed 49 lives, and left 20 others seriously injured. A 28-year-old man was arrested and will be charged with murder, while two others remain in custody.

READ MORE: New Zealand mosque shootings: What we know about the suspects

Halifax’s largest mosque, Ummah Masjid, said in a Facebook post that they had received “numerous phone calls and messages of sympathy and support” as a show of solidarity after the killings.

“Our loss and grief is humanity’s loss and grief. The sanctity of human life has been violated. For those who wish to join us for Friday prayer, we start at 1:30 p.m.,” the post read.

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And join them they did.

WATCH: Christchurch shooting coverage on Globalnews.ca

As people filed into the Halifax mosque Friday afternoon, at least one supporter stood outside holding a homemade sign reading, “It’s time to show love & respect.”

Kim Wall, who made the sign, said she decided to come to the mosque to show her support because she couldn’t just sit home and cry.

Also outside the mosque was a visible police presence.

Halifax Regional Police spokesperson Const. John MacLeod told Global News the force had reached out to the Muslim community and its leaders following the shooting in New Zealand. MacLeod said although there was no public safety issue in Halifax, police would be “in and around” the Muslim community to support them.

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READ MORE: Christchurch shooting: Celebrities, politicians react to New Zealand mosque attacks

A police presence was expected outside all Nova Scotia mosques during the Friday prayers.

Inside the Ummah Masjid, Imam Abdallah Yousri told members it was a sad day and that the shootings were a sad reality of the current world.

“Bloodshed has become too common,” he said.

“Evilness and terrorist attacks like this have no religion.”

‘We stand with the Muslim community’

Meanwhile, Halifax Mayor Mike Savage tweeted out his condolences and called for people to “counter hatred with kindness, intolerance with open minds.”

Savage told Global News the municipality has to show their support to the Muslim community.

“We stand with the Muslim community in Halifax. We’ve spent a lot of time with Imam Abdullah because of the tragedy of the Barho family,” he said.

“If there is a silver lining in that awful tragedy — and it’s hard to imagine there would be — it’s that this community showed not only support but I think I would say love, and that’s not a word I say lightly, for the family and the Muslim community here in Halifax.”

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The Halifax Regional Police headquarters on Gottingen Street also displayed the New Zealand flag, as a show of solidarity.

— With files from Jesse Thomas