MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — People around the world are paying tribute to the victims of the New Zealand mosque attacks.
Several memorials of flowers and letters of support are growing in Christchurch. Some are at mosques, other near the hospital where the injured are being treated.
In the Twin Cities, people with different religious beliefs are uniting to support their Muslim neighbors. At an event Saturday afternoon in Bloomington, state and community leaders said Minnesota will continue to be a place of diversity and inclusiveness.
Pride and courage were seen on every face in the packed room inside the Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington. While attending a community meeting at Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, attendees looked to form stronger bonds as a community.
“You can choose to have suspicions that ultimately become hate, or you can have an open heart and curiosity that develops into love,” Rep. Ilhan Omar said.
The goal — simple, but lofty — was to ensure the safety and freedom to practice their religion.
“We have to stand against hate, violence, Islamophobia, racism and white supremacy in all of its forms,” Rep. Melissa Hortman said. “It’s not enough to hate back. We can not give into that.”
The Bloomington community knows how quickly the sense of security can slip away. The Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center was bombed just a year and a half ago. The pipe bomb damaged the building, but did not hurt anyone there for morning prayers.
Those gathered embraced their community’s diversity, relying on time and prayer to heal broken hearts and spirits.
“I always say love trumps hate, but it begins with each individual person,” Omar said.