Waterloo region leaders pledge support after New Zealand mosque attacks

Local leaders are reacting to the shootings at two mosques in New Zealand during Friday prayers.

'Afraid for the safety of loved ones? I am,' wrote Fauzia Mazhar with Coalition of Muslim Women

Members of a family outside the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday following a fatal shooting. Leaders in Waterloo region expressed their sympathies for the dead and wounded in the attacks. (Martin Hunter/SNPA/Reuters)

An interfaith vigil at Kitchener city hall hopes to show support for victims and survivors of attacks at two mosques in New Zealand. 

The vigil was slated for 6-7:30 p.m. Friday night. 

There were 49 people killed and another 48 injured after shootings at two mosques in Christchurch during Friday prayers.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the attack an "extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence."

Leaders in Waterloo region and surrounding area who woke up to the news of the attacks pledged their support for people half a world away.

Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic tweeted "love and support" from the city.

"Today, our global family shares in your grief and in remembering that #LoveBeatsHate," he wrote.

K-W's Fauzia Mazhar with the Coalition of Muslim Women wrote an impassioned Facebook post, saying it was "hard to describe the feelings."

"Sad for the hate that human beings are able to fester to the extent that they kill other human beings, often complete strangers who have done nothing wrong," she wrote. She called out politicians who use Islamophobia and racism to gain power.

"Afraid for the safety of loved ones? I am."

The Kitchener Masjid retweeted a statement from the Muslim Association of Canada, which said they are "left speechless" by the attack.