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Hundreds show support for WNY's muslim community after New Zealand shooting

Posted at 11:31 PM, Mar 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-17 23:31:19-04

AMHERST, N.Y. (WKBW) — At the Islamic Society of Niagara Frontier in Amherst, people prayed. They prayed from nearly every religion; Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism. They came to pray for the victims in the shooting in New Zealand, Muslims and world peace.

“You fight hate with love, with understanding,” said Imam Khalil.

“It's a shame that a tragedy is what brings us together but out of that a lot of good things can happen for all of our communities,” said Reverend Mark Blue from the Second Baptist Church in Lackawanna.

Some know firsthand just how meaningful it can be to have so many people, from so many backgrounds come together after tragedy.

“When there feels like there is nothing to do. There is something to do. You can come together and support each other and share our prayers and our hopes,” said Sara Rich. She is the director of Hillel of Buffalo at the University at Buffalo. Her organization held a similar vigil after the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

“It made me feel some comfort in those initial days where people reached out to me and said this is terrible, we don't stand for this and it really meant a lot,” added Rich.

Imam Khalil is grateful for the Western New York community coming to his mosque to share their feelings with him.

“It was really nice to see every one come together at this difficult time and hour of ours.”