'Even peaceful communities are not immune to hatred:' Vigil held in St. John's for Christchurch attacks

With tears in her eyes, Amina Mahmood told a crowd of about 100 people attending a vigil for the shooting in Christchurch that although she was shaken by the news she is very saddened to say, she was not shocked.

"It has happened too many times that I am sadly immune to it," Mahmood, the vice-president of the Muslim Association at Memorial University said.

Mahmood was just one of the guest speakers that spoke Saturday night on the university's campus.

Meg Roberts/CBC

Ayse Akinturk, an executive member of the Muslim Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, called audience members to action, urging them to stand up in the face of hate.

"We need to proactively engage in countering and addressing this problem, we cannot just deny that is does not exist in our community," Akinturk said. "I really urge everyone who has an alive human conscious to engage whenever and wherever they see the expression of hatred."

Akinturk said the Muslim association would like to see more collaboration with municipal and the provincial governments.

"We all need to act need to act as ambassadors of compassion in our own surroundings, in our families, in our schools, workplaces and so on," she said.

"Even peaceful communities are not immune to hatred."

The vigil was hosted by a group of students at MUN as an act of solidarity with people across the world following the attacks at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador