Faith groups stand against hate after New Zealand mosque attack

Local News

Faith groups in Fort Wayne are standing against hate after 50 people were gunned down at two New Zealand mosques.

On Sunday, the Universal Education Foundation located on Goshen Rd. held an interfaith prayer. Dozens of people of all faiths attended to pay for the victims and take a stand against hatred. 

“We need to act wherever the acts happen and to whomever they happen,” said Rabbi Lenny Sarko. “It’s not just a Jewish thing, it’s not just a Christian thing, it’s a people thing.”

Leaders from churches, mosques, temples, and synagogues took the stage – speaking as one voice in condemning the attacks in Christchurch. Remaining silent is not an option, they said. 

“You have to be extremely vocal on condemning these things because if you stay quiet, people might think it’s okay,” said UEF President Tariq Alkhairy. 

The shootings touched everyone in the room including Malaika Ahmed, the youth coordinator of the Muslim Youth of Fort Wayne. 

“This attack was not a shock because of all the other attacks that have happened on other religious communities, which is a horrible thing to think about,” Ahmed explained. “However, when these things happen we still need to come out like this, show support with any faith, we need to keep our differences aside and definitely, definitely come together.”

For Malaika, seeing the dozens that turned out provided a sense of comfort. She hopes by uniting they can prevent another tragedy.  

“It just restores the hope of humanity that there are people like this. And for every one bad person such as the killer, there’s like thousands of people that can stand with you and show their love and support in solidarity.”

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