COMMUNITY members of all faiths gathered at the Mareeba Mosque over the weekend to show their support in the wake of the tragic Christchurch mass shooting last week.
Mareeba residents laid flowers and mourned the loss of 50 innocent people whose lives were taken far too soon, displaying the kind of solidarity that has come to the fore across the globe since the senseless act of violence was committed on Friday.
Imam of the Mareeba and Cairns Mosque Waseem Jappie spoke about the enormous support that has been shown by the wider community in Mareeba.
“I can’t express to you how unbelievable the support from the Mareeba and Tablelands community has been,” he said.
“I am so proud of the reaction from this community since this horrific incident – my heart is pouring with immense gratitude.”
Imam Jappie spoke candidly when describing his initial reaction to the attack, and how it has acted as a teaching moment for himself personally.
“When I first saw news of the shooting, I naturally became scared for my family,” he said.
“However as soon as I saw the amount of care Mareeba showed for the Muslim community, it reinforced to me how great a place this really is.
“It gave me reassurance that we are one big family.”
Imam Jappie said he hopes a tragedy of this magnitude will mean greater unity among people of all faiths in not only Mareeba, but throughout the world.
“Supporting each other no matter their background should happen more often,” he said.
“I think this incident has made us more in-tune and hopefully it will push us to participate in more community events together.
“That is the way to build an unbreakable bond in this community.”
Imam Jappie said he would like to thank the Mareeba and Tableland locals for their compassion in what has been a deeply sad time for the Muslim community.
Imam Jappie noted that he would also like to recognise the Mareeba Seventh Day Adventist Church for taking time to visit the Mosque on the weekend and say a prayer for the victims of the attack.