At least forty-nine Muslims who were gathered for Friday prayers at two mosques in New Zealand were murdered by a white supremacist who live-streamed the massacre on Facebook. The country’s prime minister called the attack “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”; a journalist there compared it to that country’s 9/11. 

A prayer vigil will be held at 6:30 p.m. tonight by the Carolina Peace Center at the Islamic Association of Cary, at 1076 West Chatham Street. The event is open to people of all backgrounds “to come together to pray and remember” the victims. The Peace Center is also planning ways to financially assist both the surviving victims and families and the affected mosques, says CPC founder Faisal Khan.

“This is a tragedy, and I think we have to realize that this cannot stop until all the good people come together and not only say, ‘Hey, we care,’ but really speak up. Words are powerful. Words can change hearts and minds,” Khan says. “Until then, unfortunately, this will not stop.”

Another prayer service is planned in Raleigh at 9:35 p.m. at The Light House Project, at 202 North Tarboro Street. 

A protest against Islamophobia and white supremacy is planned for Sunday at the state Capitol. 

Zainab Baloch, a local advocate and candidate for the Raleigh City Council (and perhaps mayor), wrote in a post on Medium that the mosques were targeted because white-nationalist terrorists realize they are safe spaces for Muslims. She expressed sadness that this hateful ideology has spread overseas. 

“I saw today that white supremacy knows no borders,” Baloch wrote. “I saw it when the shooter in Christchurch, New Zealand, sported the same Nazi imagery that white supremacists wore in Charlottesville, Virginia.”

Local advocacy group Muslims for Social Justice issued a statement saying they are “deeply saddened and hurt” by the attack, but they’re not surprised that it was motivated by Islamophobia and white supremacy. 

“The best response to forces of hate is to build a stronger movement against all forms of oppression,” organizer Manzoor Cheema said in a statement. “Muslims for Social Justice will work with our partners and allies to build a stronger anti-oppression movement at home and challenge oppression abroad. We invite you to join us.”

Contact staff writer Leigh Tauss by email at, by phone at 919-832-8774, or on Twitter @leightauss. 

One reply on “Here’s How to Support Local Muslims in the Wake of the New Zealand Massacre”

  1. How many Muslims who are fleeing violence can afford to live in the “progressive” city Raleigh proclaims itself to be?

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