Jewish Representatives Join Muslim Community at Mosque Vigils for Christchurch

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Political and communal figures pay respects at the East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre in Tower Hamlets following deadly massacre in New Zealand

Jewish representatives have joined London’s Muslim community at a mosque vigil for the dozens of Muslim worshippers shot and killed during terror attacks at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The Board of Deputies was represented by Vice-President Amanda Bowman, who said she was “standing in solidarity” at the East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre in Tower Hamlets on Friday.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Bishop of London Sarah Mulally were among the many who came to show their support as the city’s Muslim community struggled to come to terms with the mass killing by suspected white supremacists who filmed the shooting.

Senior Reform Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner condemned the “truly abhorrent” attack while Jewish Agency chief Isaac Herzog also reacted strongly, noting how it had led to the first-ever Shabbat closure of synagogues in New Zealand.

Henry Grunwald, chair of the UK National Holocaust Centre, quoted survivor Arek Hersh on “the silence of the bystander,” adding: “Society has stood by for too long, which permits today’s appalling events in New Zealand to happen.”

European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor struck a similar theme. “For many years we warned that the hateful ideology that has taken so many Jewish lives would go on to orchestrate attacks against other communities,” he said. “Today, tragedy has struck our Muslim brothers and sisters.”

The Christchurch massacre is the latest deadly attack on mosques by white nationalists in recent years. In January 2017, a white nationalist shot and killed six Muslims at a mosque in Quebec, and in June 2017 a man drove a van into worshippers outside Finsbury Mosque in London, killing one and injuring nine.