A COMMUNITY has come together this afternoon in a poignant show of strength after the New Zealand terrorist attack.

Forty-nine people were killed in mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch. 


The multi-faith service was held at Bradford Central Mosque, Westgate, and was attended by community and religious leaders and Council representatives, including Bradford Council Leader Susan Hinchcliffe.

Zulfi Karim, general secretary of the Bradford Council for Mosques, said: "Right now, our thoughts are with the families and the victims and our prayers and condolences go out to them.

"But also, I think our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of New Zealand, I think it's a very, very difficult time for a country like New Zealand.

"Nobody would ever imagine that this kind of atrocity would take place in a place like that.

"This gathering today really is just a city coming together in solidarity with its Muslim friends and to have the civic leadership, the leader of the Council, the Bishop here, means a great deal to the Muslim community."

He added: "These were innocent people who lost their lives today and it was the same when the Pittsburgh massacre happened, not too long ago, this is unfortunately the tragedy of where we are right now.

"But we've got to stand resolute, come together, join in solidarity.

"These are not the best of times, but we cannot let that divide us. 

"We're only stronger if we are together. Yes there is issues, we cannot shy away from those issues, whether its anti-semitism, Islamophobia, attacks on other minority communities out there.

"I think we now need to really come united and have a united voice to make sure that anti-semitism, Islamophobia, is recognised and we start putting plans in place to deal with it."

He added: "This is Bradford, really coming together at a time of need and of crisis.

"Unity is really important. I think we are stronger together - we need to eradicate this. We need to make sure that there is no room for hate in our society."

Bishop of Bradford, the Rt Revd Toby Howarth joined worshippers for prayers at the city’s Central Mosque and said: "It is important, after the horrific attacks in New Zealand, that we fight hatred with friendship and stood in solidarity with Muslims as they gathered for Friday Prayers today.

“The friendships across our different faiths in Bradford are strong and I thank God for those relationships as we pray together for all those affected.”

Rudi Leavor, Chairman of the Bradford Tree of Life Synagogue, said: "The Jewish community sends the Muslim community its deepest sympathy on the tragedy in Christchurch.

"Jewish people know only too well the situation of being at the receiving end of ultimate hate crime, so it is easy to sympathise with Muslims everywhere."