Those who organized Sunday’s vigil at ISNF Masjid An-Noor said they want their message to be clear: Western New York comes together during times of tragedy.

Hundreds came together to share prayer and honor the lives lost during the attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand,

“When you look at it, it’s become a global village. And with social meida, the news travels so fast, there’s no time to rethink,” said Muslim Public Affairs Council’s founding president Khalid Qazi. “I think we’ve become one family and we feel pain no matter where it has hit.”

Many in attendance came from different backgrounds – including age, race and religion.

“I’m not surprised there is such an outpouring where we see every age, every faith, every tradition, every color under one roof,” Qazi said. “I am not surprised. However, I am reassured that the community we have built, the community we are still building, is all-inclusive.”

“The Western New York community is an exemplary community for everyone. And nationally, if there’s an example, we are the example,” said WNY Muslims president Faizan Haq. “We get together, we share each other’s pains, we share each other’s aspirations and we help each other out.”

The vigil could be the start of future events which organizers said will aim to bring all community members together again. They’re hopeful these gatherings will continue to educate people on tolerance of different backgrounds in order to keep the area accepting of one another.