Reactions from across the globe continue to pour in as families in New Zealand mourn the loss of 49 loved ones after a terror attack.
A self-proclaimed white supremacist opened fire on worshipers at two separate mosques in the city of Christchurch.
Muslims both in Hamilton and abroad have been trying to come to terms with the mass shootings while bringing attention to what they say is a rise in Islamophobia.
In the wake of the attacks, police forces in Ontario are stepping up security in areas with large Muslim populations, including Hamilton.
Hamilton Police released a statement that says it “stands by our Muslim community.” It goes on to say ” We have increased our presence in all area Mosques and other places of Worship. We ask all citizens to remain vigilant.
The President of the Muslim Association of Hamilton, Javid Mirza, says there has been a rise in Islamophobia. “Racist people that were hiding before, there are all of a sudden emboldened to come out and do whatever they want to.”
Imam Syed Tora from Mountain Mosque addressed the shooting during his Friday sermon. He says it’s a wake-up call. “There has to be tougher measures from point of law enforcement agencies, and I think there has to be some watch kept on the right wing extremist groups.”
But Imam also says Muslims have a civic duty to get engaged and speak up. “The answer to this is not fear. That’s not the way we should respond hiding away from this. We have to be real and we have to stand up and speak up against this.”
Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger tweeted, tweeted: “Deplorable violence against the Muslim community in #NewZealandMosqueShooting Christchurch! We need unity not division! Love not hate! Inclusion not tolerance! #HamiltonForAll. Visit a mosque today and show them we care!”