Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart did not mince words in a statement he released on social media today regarding Friday’s mosque attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Stewart said the attack “must be called out for what it is: Islamophobia stoked by unchecked white supremacism.”
The terrorist attack in New Zealand breaks my heart and must be called out for what it is: Islamophobia stoked by unchecked white supremacism. To Mayor @LianneDalziel: my deepest condolences to the victims, their loved ones, and all of Christchurch. #TheyAreUs #vanpoli
— Kennedy Stewart (@kennedystewart) March 15, 2019
He also sent his deepest condolences to the victims, loved ones, and all of Christchurch.
In an official statement released this afternoon, Stewart added:
“The flag at City Hall has been lowered to half-mast in an expression of sympathy and solidarity with our Muslim friends and neighbours here in Vancouver. I have been in contact with the Vancouver Police Department and they are working with the local Muslim community to ensure everyone feels safe and supported.”
“This tragedy is a reminder that no place is safe from hatred and that we in Vancouver must resolve today and every day to naming it and fighting it. I hope everyone takes a moment to think about how we can be the best neighbours and friends possible as we continue to build a city that is welcoming and safe for all.”
The terrorist attack left 49 dead and 48 more injured. According to the New Zealand Police, attacks took place at two different mosques on Friday, at which time Muslims gathered for weekly prayers.
The attack was allegedly targeting migrant communities in Christchurch.
A Vancouver mosque has announced that it will hold a prayer vigil and memorial service to stand in solidarity with Christchurch.
The Al-Jamia Mosque-Pakistan Canada Association and the Coalition Against Bigotry – Pacific, will hold the service on Friday at 7:30 pm.
“The vigil and memorial service are a welcome space for Muslims of all denominations as well as people of other faiths and beliefs,” said the organizers.
The Al-Jamia Mosque located at 655 West 8th Avenue in Vancouver and is a short walk from Olympic Village Station. It’s also the oldest Mosque in BC, established in 1963 by the Pakistan Canada Association.