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LOCATION: Canadian Human Rights Monument 220 Elgin Street, Ottawa TIME: 6 PM The events in Christchurch, New Zealand have deeply shocked and saddened our communities. A gunman opened fire on two mosques in central Christchurch, New Zealand, killing dozens of people on Friday afternoon; atime when Muslim worshippers gather in their largest weekly congregational prayer. This massacre was broadcasted live online. The perpetrator had publicly announced his intentions on an internet message board after releasing a white supremacist manifesto. 49 people were killed and multiple were injured, shaking a country with little history of mass shooting in what the Prime Minister called “an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.” Parts of the shootings in the city of Christchurch were streamed on Facebook, horrifying and paralyzing everyone. The police said three men and one woman were in custody, but they were unsure if there were others involved. The country’s police commissioner, Mike Bush, said that a number of explosive devices were found in vehicles stopped by police. He warned residents of central Christchurch to stay indoors and the police asked mosques to close. “This is and will be one of New Zealand’s darkest days,” New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said at a news conference.The gunman was widely reported to have been inspired by Islamophobic, anti-immigrant, and white supremacist ideology, and openly idolized mass shooters including Alexandre Bissonnette, Anders Breivik, and others who have carried out attacks on Muslims in recent times.We ask that you join in solidarity with the Ottawa Muslim community in condemning xenophobic and Islamophobic sentiment. As we mourn the souls lost in the New Zealand Mosque shooting, we must remember that Canada is not immune and we remember and mourn those who were lost and many more who were injured in the Quebec shooting just two years ago.In the meantime, if you are not Muslim and have Muslim friends and co-workers, please reach out to them, inquire after their well-being and express your solidarity. The perpetrator of this attack specifically sought to create hatred and division and so it becomes our moral duty to thwart that attempt and stand united with our brothers and sisters around the world.
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