The Wyndham community has shown strength and solidarity in the wake of this month’s terrorist attack on two Christchurch mosques which killed 50 people.
Last Friday, the Victorian Maori Wardens visited Truganina’s Al-Taqwa College to visit students, participate in Friday prayers and perform the Haka in a show of unity between Wyndham’s Muslim and Maori communities.
Al-Taqwa College principal Omar Hallak said the Christchurch attack had deeply affected the local community.
Mr Hallak said although Friday had been a day of mourning for the Al-Taqwa community, it was also about coming together in solidarity against these kinds of attacks.
“As human beings, we do not accept it,” he said. “Our religion is against anyone killing innocent people. Even the Holy Quran [says] if you kill an innocent person, it’s as if you’ve killed humanity in general.”
Al-Taqwa vice principal Mohammad Hallak added: “But we’re strong, and this is not going to let us be divided. We are one community … and the local police, the mayor, the council have been very supportive.”
Al-Taqwa will host an open day at its mosque on March 30, and has encouraged all residents to attend. The visit followed a public candlelight vigil held at the Wyndham Village Centre carpark, where about 500 people congregated to pay their respects to those who lost their lives in the Christchurch attack.
Meanwhile, Werribee Islamic Centre director Rifai Abdul Raheem thanked the wider community for the flood of support it has received in the wake of the massacre.
By Charlene Macaulay and Alesha Capone