Hundreds attend public prayers in downtown Vancouver in support of Muslim community

Mar 18 2019, 4:58 pm

In the wake of the terrorist attack on two mosques in New Zealand that left 50 dead, people of all faiths banded together in Vancouver Sunday to take part in a public prayer ceremony supporting the local Muslim community.

Fifty prayer mats — one for each victim — were laid out on the north side of the Vancouver Art Gallery grounds as members of the Muslim faith held a gathering aimed at ending ignorance and overcoming fear through faith.

Hundreds of British Columbians attended, including Federal Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, who spoke about the importance of diversity in Canadian society.

Speeches were held before the afternoon prayer, in which everyone — regardless of religion or faith — was invited to “stand up as one community” and “send a message to all those who hate.”

There was also an “Ask a Muslim” booth where people were encouraged to bring questions.

A Facebook event post for the event underscored the importance of ending ignorance.

“The terror attack in New Zealand was rooted in fear and hate which stems out of ignorance — in this case ignorance about Islam and Muslims. The attackers wanted to instil their fear into others but we won’t let them succeed. We will stand up stronger and end ignorance through education and love.”