Solidarity vigil planned at Worthing Mosque following New Zealand terrorist attack
A solidarity vigil will take place at Worthing Mosque this Friday following the tragedy in New Zealand last week.
Fifty people were killed after a gunman opened fire at two mosques in Christchurch on Friday.
Residents will gather at the mosque in Ivy Arch Road, Worthing, at 11.45am this Friday, ahead of Friday prayers, in a show of solidarity with the Muslim community.
The event has been organised by the Worthing Stand up to Racism group, who said the vigil would give a ‘clear message’ that there were people in Worthing prepared to stand up to racism and Islamophobia.
Members of the local Labour constituency parties will also be in attendance.
Councillor Jim Deen, deputy leader of the Labour Group on Worthing Borough Council, said the Worthing West Labour Party has sent a message of sympathy to the mosque.
He said: “Our members have been keen to offer their unconditional solidarity and support to the 1500 Muslims in the Worthing area served by the Worthing Masjid and to convey their total condemnation of the bigotry that provides the fuel for the kind of hatred and violence seen at its worst in Christchurch.
“Our members are keen to show that their friendship and support at a time when the community will, understandably, be feeling vulnerable and under threat.”
Following the tragedy last week, police in Sussex moved to reassure residents.
Chief Superintendent Neil Honnor, head of the Surrey and Sussex Police Joint Operations Command, said on Friday: “Today we are stepping up reassurance patrols around mosques and increasing engagement with communities of all faiths, giving advice on how people and places can protect themselves.
“We take all forms of extremism seriously and anyone with concerns about someone becoming radicalised can get advice and support through the PREVENT programme.”