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By Gurbir Singh:

An estimated three thousand Kiwis of all ages and ethnic groups, gathered in Hamilton ‘s Claudelands Park last night (Saturday) to express solidarity with the Muslim community, and mourn the Christchurch mosque shooting victims.

Thousands gathered for a vigil on Saturday night in Hamilton
Thousands gathered for a vigil on Saturday night in Hamilton

The vigil for victims was organised by the Hamilton City Council and led by Hamilton Mayor, Andrew King to mark the tragedy of loss of 49 innocent lives in a senseless killing.

The venue is situated close to the Jamia Masjid Mosque in Heaphy Terrace where streams of people have been gathering since Friday to lay flowers, write messages and pay homage.

Flowers and messages of love outside the Hamilton mosque
Flowers and messages of love outside the Hamilton mosque

Among the thousands who attended were local councillors and parliamentarians, including MPs David Bennett and Jamie Strange.

“Tonight we show we are proudly united as a city and a country,” the Mayor told the gathering. “We send a clear message we are not afraid.”

A tearful Dr Asad Moshin, President of of the Waikato Muslim Association, thanked people for the support: “We still don’t know how this happened, but we won’t let this change New Zealand”. 

Overwhelmed by the support shown, Dr Moshin said “We, as the Muslim community, are going to engage with the community more strongly, we are going to be a part of you, and you are going to be a part of us.”

People joined a choir and sang ‘Walk in Love’ to display unity and in remembrance of those who had lost their lives.