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Muslims in Ipswich to hold prayers for victims of New Zealand mosque shootings

PUBLISHED: 11:01 15 March 2019 | UPDATED: 11:01 15 March 2019

Police block the road near the shooting at a mosque in Linwood, Christchurch, New Zealand. Multiple people were killed during shootings at two mosques full of people attending Friday prayers. Picture: AP Photo/Mark Baker

Police block the road near the shooting at a mosque in Linwood, Christchurch, New Zealand. Multiple people were killed during shootings at two mosques full of people attending Friday prayers. Picture: AP Photo/Mark Baker

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Muslims in Suffolk are to show solidarity with the victims of the mosque attacks in New Zealand when they meet for Friday prayers today.

A previous community engagement event at Ipswich Mosque. The mosque is holding an open day this weekend. Picture: ARCHANTA previous community engagement event at Ipswich Mosque. The mosque is holding an open day this weekend. Picture: ARCHANT

The Ipswich and Suffolk Bangladeshi Muslim Community Centre and Mosque has condemned the shootings in Christchurch, which have left 49 people dead and 20 wounded in what is believed to be one of the deadliest attacks in the country’s history.

The attacks are thought to be the work of one alleged gunman described by Australian prime minister Scott Morrison as an “extremist, right-wing terrorist”.

Fotik Miah, committee secretary at Ipswich Mosque in Bond Street, said the Imam - the worship leader at the mosque - would say a prayer for the victims when members gather today.

“Our thoughts and prayers are always with people involved in all attacks,” Mr Miah said.

Ipswich Mosque held an open day earlier this month where it encouraged different faiths to come together. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNIpswich Mosque held an open day earlier this month where it encouraged different faiths to come together. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“This one is obviously in the news. It is horrific and they are especially in our thoughts. The Imam will hold a prayer with members of the mosque.

“We’re hoping that, over time, people will see sense and understand that violence doesn’t create any kind of peace or stability. Violence only creates more violence. It’s very sad.”

Friday is considered a holy day for Muslims, when they take part in Jum’ah prayers just after noon.

Earlier this month the mosque in Ipswich held an open day, where members made a heartfelt plea for the town’s different faith groups to come together.

Muslims have been visiting other groups and organisations across Ipswich to improve their understanding of different religions and have encouraged others to visit the mosque to ask any questions they have about Islam.

Others across Suffolk have also paid their tributes to people involved in the attacks.

Bury St Edmunds MP Jo Churchill Tweeted on Friday morning: “Our condolences to the people of Christchurch New Zealand.”

And West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock, who is also health secretary, Tweeted: “Desperately shocked at the awful terrorist attack on New Zealand mosques.

“My heart breaks to think this can happen in a country of such peace and beauty.

“We must link arms around the world to stand up against this evil.”

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