People of all faiths stood together in solidarity with the Muslim community on Sunday. The Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester organized a gathering at the Islamic Center of Rochester following Friday’s terrorist shooting at a mosque in New Zealand.
Even organizers were surprised by how many people showed up.
“My immediate thought was, we need to do something to tell our Muslim neighbors here that they’re safe, they’re supported that we stand shoulder to shoulder with them,” said Karen Elam, director of community relations at the Jewish Federation and the organizer of the event.
Meredith Dragon, CEO of the Jewish Federation, agreed.
“It’s important when something happens to any one of us that people of all faiths show up and show support because we can all be stronger together.”
President of the Islamic Center, Tabassam Javed, said he’s touched by the outpouring of support from the community.
“It is amazingly feeling good to see all that because these are people who really know that this is wrong, they know in their own hearts, they have a conscience, their own faith traditions tells them that this is not right,” Javed said.
Some people who attended were invited inside the mosque to pray with the congregation. Others stayed outside to give those inside a sense of safety while they prayed.
“It was good to see people of all faiths out here to say that we’ll stand watch watch while you pray, essentially it’s good to be in a community that supports so many different faiths,” said Mark Reisch.
Fighting hatred in all forms, together.