Americans Hold Vigils Following New Zealand Mosque Shootings

Mar 17, 2019
Originally published on March 17, 2019 6:07 pm
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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This weekend, people around the United States have been gathering to show support for the Muslim congregants who came under attack in New Zealand on Friday.

(SOUNDBITE OF MONTAGE)

OMAR ILYAF: (Singing in Arabic).

RIDA KHAN: So remember you. And be grateful to me, and do not deny me. Oh, you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.

BECCA TANEN: It's unfortunate that the times when we band together and show up for each other are often times of tragedy. But hopefully, we'll continue to do so in times of happiness as well.

UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: (Singing in Maori).

MICHAEL LEEVY: I grew up in New Zealand and Nelson and lived a lot of my life in Christchurch. These were normal people going about their normal life in a country that has always been safe and welcoming. And everybody should share the tragedy of it and take steps to make the world a better, safer place.

UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: (Singing in foreign language).

LIILITH TODD: I'm the daughter of a New Zealander who's an immigrant. He just got his citizenship in July. And I have a best friend who's Muslim. And being here in America, I've seen a lot of gun violence towards race and towards religion. And it hurt a lot to know that it hit farther than just home. It hurt back to my bloodline, where I came from, back to New Zealand. I just - it hurts a lot.

UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: (Singing in foreign language).

MARTIN: That was the New Zealand national anthem being sung at a gathering of New Zealanders outside Kiwi Kuisine pie shop in Alexandria, Va. We heard from attendees Michael Leevy and Lilith Todd, and also from Omar Ilyaf and Rida Khan at a vigil on the University of Michigan campus, and Becca Tanen at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.