City Hall memorial for mosque dead

Islamic Society of Geelong imam Shaykh Mohammad Ramzan and president Ahmed Elzahbi. 191603

By Justin Flynn

City Hall will hold a memorial service next week a month to the day after the shooting of 50 worshipers at two mosques in New Zealand.

Geelong Islamic Society secretary Yasir Ismat said the local Muslim community was still struggling in the aftermath of the attack Christchurch attacks on 15 March.

“The Islamic community is still sad by (the) New Zealand tragedy. We feel for the victims, their family and friends and the whole country,” Mr Ismat said.

“The Geelong Muslim community is very grateful to the Geelong council and Geelong Interfaith Network for organising the memorial service.

“We are also thankful for participation and support from the Geelong indigenous community and Maori community in the memorial service.”

Mr Ismat welcomed the wider Geelong community’s support for local Muslims after the shootings.

“We are overwhelmed by the show of support from the local community, local, state and federal government politicians, and officials,” he said.

“We thank everyone from the bottom of our heart, and we do not feel alone anymore. People from all ages and groups personally visited the mosque, brought flowers and left messages of support.

“We are very proud of our Geelong community.”

Mr Ismat said the Muslim community was slowly moving forward.

“We do not wish this to happen to anyone regardless of religious/cultural background. We stand together to stamp out extremism and violence from our society.

“We would like to thank all non-Muslims for taking time from their busy schedule to attend the memorial service. Your offer of support means a lot to us.”

The memorial will begin at City Hall forecourt, Johnstone Park, 6pm on Monday.

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