London·Photos

'Now is the time we act in solidarity': London honours New Zealand victims

Hundreds of Londoners united on Monday evening in an emotional vigil to commemorate the people who died in mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

People gathered on Monday night at Victoria Park

Hundreds gathered for a vigil on Monday at Victoria Park. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

Enough is enough.

That's what the local Muslim community and non-Muslim advocates are demanding after 50 people were murdered last week in an incident apparently motivated by white nationalist ideology.

Hundreds of Londoners united on Monday evening in an emotional vigil to commemorate the people who died in mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Selma Tobah gave an impassioned speech on Monday (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

"Now is the time that we act. Now is the time that we act in solidarity with one another and that we put an end to this intolerance and bigotry," said Selma Tobah, who gave an impassioned speech at the vigil.

"Whether it be coming from the halls of power on Parliament in Queens Park. Or in our offices [or] dinner tables, we call it out and we shut it down."

Local councilors, members of parliament and members of London's Jewish community were all in attendance to show their support. 

'It could happen to us'

Nora and Sipel Mosa were both wearing shirts with the hashtag "Hello Brother." It's believed to be the first and final words said by a Muslim worshipper who was killed in the attacks. 

Nora, 17, said the incidents hit home.

Sipel Mosa, left and Nora Mosa are young Muslims in London. They were moved by the show of support Monday. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

"We're young, we're Muslim and we go to the mosque as many times as we can ... It could happen to us … it's just so hard to go outside and to think that people want you dead just because of the way that you are," she said.

She said it was "sweet" the whole community came together because she doesn't feel alone, anymore. "It's not just Muslims fighting against this. It makes us feel really welcome and includes."

"Instead of building walls, we're making bridges and it really brings people together," said Joshua Tong, a non-Muslim supporter, 

Meanwhile, Sipel encouraged Londoners and the wider community to go out and get to know other Muslims in order to break barriers.

Joshua Tong says it's important for non-Muslims to show support. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

"Go out to your mosque, go out and find friends, go out to a club, go out to people who are real Muslims, who are average Muslim … actually go out to your community. Don't sit around. Go experience the culture and the religion yourself," she said.

New Zealand's Prime Minister said reforms to the country's gun laws are underway in the wake of the attacks.

A 28-year-old Australian man has been charged with murder in relation to the incidents.

Have a look:

A sign that read "I [heart] my Muslim neighbour." (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)
It was an emotional night in London as vigil-goers were moved by the commemoration. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)
Many people at the vigil were donning pins. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)
Signs at the vigil. Some of them included the names and information of those killed. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

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