More than 100 people are expected to attend a vigil Saturday night in Halifax for the victims of the Christchurch mosque attacks.
Forty-nine people were killed and dozens injured after a lone gunman, who identified himself as a white supremacist, started shooting during Friday prayers in New Zealand.
“I just think as Muslims we are always painted as terrorists or violent, and when we get subjugated to violence there is not as much of a focus on the impact and realities of Islamophobia,” said Masuma Khan, the vigil organizer.
“So, yesterday I woke up to the news and I thought it would be appropriate to act quickly because I was so upset.”
‘This is the starting point for the conversation’
She believes the vigil will give Muslims and non-Muslims, who are trying to show solidarity, a space to mourn and support each other.
“I think when you show up to something like this, and you see non-Muslims supporting you, then maybe that’s where you start building a community,” Khan said. “This is like a starting point for the conversation.”
The vigil will open with a message of love and solidarity from the Mi’kmaw community and a spoken-word poem performed by El Jones. Anyone who wishes to speak about their pain is encouraged to take up the mic.
People coming together to show solidarity
People from the African Nova Scotia community and the Jewish Voices for Peace will also speak at the event.
“I think having other communities coming and speaking in support of us, it really makes you feel less alone and that there is a chance for hope, and I’m hoping that’s what we can leave off with,” said Khan.
The vigil will take place in the Halifax Grand Parade at 7:30 p.m.