UPEI campus vigil condemns deadly mosque shootings
'We need to tell young people to support each other ... to show more kindness'
Students and faculty at UPEI gathered Tuesday to offer support for victims and condemn the shootings at two mosques last week in Christchurch, New Zealand, in which 50 people died.
The vigil was held at 12:45 at the W.A. Murphy Student Centre on campus and brought out dozens of people.
"I'm grateful that we have such a strong community on P.E.I. Of course I'm grieving and heartbroken over what has happened," said Nouhad Mourad, one of the vigil's organizers.
Support and community
The vigil was organized by the UPEI Muslim Student Association in partnership with the school's International Student Services.
"At the beginning when I heard the news, I was really sad to see my brothers and sisters dying even though I don't know them," said organizer Tarteela Alkayyali.
The Muslim Student Association has received several messages from concerned Muslim students in the days following the attacks, asking for support, Alkayyali said.
"It's very important to make these students feel that they have someone to go to or talk to and that there's an organization that supports them."
It's one of the reasons holding a vigil on campus was important, she said.
"Today I feel more relieved and more happy to be in such a place like P.E.I. and UPEI," said Alkayyali. "People didn't make me or the students feel like they're different or that they're left out."
'Canada is not immune'
"We have a lot of support, we have a lot of love and community," said Mourad.
Students needing support are being encouraged to reach out to the student affairs office, the Muslim Student Association or the campus chaplaincy if they need to talk to someone, Mourad said.
"I think we need to tell young people to support each other ... to show more kindness, to show more love than ever at this time — and shut down any kind of intolerance," Mourad said.
"Canada is not immune to these violences," she said.