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New Zealand attack: Emotional vigil held in Pasadena for victims of tragedy

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PASADENA, Calif. (KABC) — An emotional vigil was held in Pasadena Saturday for the victims of the New Zealand mosque shootings.

Holding candles in memory of the victims of the massacre in New Zealand, community residents and people of different faiths joined members of the Muslim community at Pasadena City Hall.

One woman shared a conversation she had with her daughter expressing fears about attacks on mosques.

“She said, ‘Sometimes when we’re at prayer, I’m looking to see where the exits are’…and that broke my heart,” the woman said.

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Many brought rugs to the vigil and started the gathering with daily prayers and prayers for the dozens of people who lost their lives or were injured when a gunman opened fire in the houses of worship.

“For me, my friends who wear the hijab, my mother who wears a hijab, that’s the No. 1 fear, is when they walk on the street…are they going to get attacked. Things like this perpetuate hate,” said Muslim community member Sara Nabhan.

Those attending were also upset about recent acts of violence and hatred across America.

“This rise in white supremacy that is being fanned in a lot of different places by our politicians, I want it to stop and I want us to have a conversation about what’s going on,” said Pasadena resident Katy Windsor.

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As they mourn the tragedy, community members say they’re encouraged by the show of unity.

“We’re not going let people separate us into silos where we go and mourn by ourselves. This is the time to come together and really show people what solidarity and unity really look like,” said Tarek Shawky of the Islamic Center of Southern California.

The vigil was organized by the Islamic Center of Southern California and attended by people of many religions.

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