Hawzah News Agency (Hamilton, Canada) – Worshippers attending Friday afternoon prayers at Hamilton's Downtown Mosque were met with a long line of smiling supporters, linking hands in a chain of love, protection and solidarity.
The faithful flocking to the mosque responded with smiles of their own, words of thanks and a heartfelt request for help ending Islamophobia and white supremacy.
The call for solidarity circles at Muslim places of worship across the city went out after attacks at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand left 50 people dead and dozens of others injured.
"[It's] telling our Muslim neighbours that you matter, we love you, we support you and we want to make sure you can pray and worship in safety and peace," explained Lyla Miklos, who helped organize the circles.
"This is about establishing the kind of Hamilton … we want to live in and appreciating and respecting people for their differences."
There were plenty of appreciative honks for the string of people along York Boulevard holding signs calling for an end to hate.
Laura Wolfson said she came out because freedom of religion is a fundamental Canadian right, and something she feels is essential.
"What happened last week scared the s--t out of me," she said. "If we don't say something to stand up for each other visibly then we're complicit in the kind of anger and hate that causes people like that guy in New Zealand to do what he did."