Muslims Share Photos Of Packed Mosques After New Zealand Attack

Muslims in the U.S. and Canada posted photos of their mosques on social media Friday as a public sign of their faith and resilience in the face of a devastating terror attack in New Zealand.

The images showed mosques packed with worshippers attending the weekly Friday prayer service ― hours after at least 49 people were killed while participating in their own congregational prayers at two mosques in Christchurch.

Much of the carnage at the shooting, the deadliest in New Zealand’s modern history, was allegedly carried out by an anti-immigrant white nationalist who live-streamed the massacre on Facebook, The Associated Press reports.

A woman leaves the Islamic Cultural Center of New York under increased police security following the shooting in New Zealand on March 15, 2019. (Photo: Mark Lennihan / ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Police in New York City and other major cities across the U.S. tightened security around mosques in the wake of the attacks. The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights group, urged mosques in America and abroad to take “stepped-up security precautions.”

Despite increased anxiety about security, many Muslims refused to be deterred from attending prayers on Friday.

MPower Change, a Muslim advocacy organization, encouraged Muslims to tweet photos of their mosques on Friday with the hashtag #MyMosque. 

“We are #UnapologeticallyMuslim—and we won’t be deterred or intimidated,” the organization wrote.

Soon after, Muslims began posting images of their prayer services online.

Some noticed that their worship spaces were packed with people. 

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Noor Zafar, a fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project, shared a photo of her mosque. Zafar said the service was “full of love, anger, grief, light, healing, & prayer.”

Others welcomed the presence of non-Muslim allies who had shown up to demonstrate their solidarity. 

Selma Tobah, a Ph.D. student from Ontario, Canada, tweeted that she felt anxious and emotional about attending services on Friday and wondered if she would make it back home alive. Still, she said, she went to her mosque to “reclaim a sense of peace in my house of worship.” 

“There was something healing about seeing my ummah [community] greet each other in love despite the pain,” Tobah wrote on Twitter.

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A police officer stands guard during Friday prayers at the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque, providing extra security after the Christchurch mosque attacks in New Zealand, in Dhaka, Bangladesh on March 15, 2019.
Local residents leave floral tributes at Deans Avenue near the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Worshippers pray for victims and families of the Christchurch shootings during an evening vigil a the Lakemba Mosque in Wakemba, New South Wales, Australia.
Muslims attend a vigil at the East London Mosque for the victims of the New Zealand mosque attacks.
People take part in a vigil at the New Zealand War Memorial on Hyde Park Corner in London. Other members of Britain’s royal family have followed Queen Elizabeth II in expressing their sadness over the shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand. In a joint statement, Princes William and Harry, together with their spouses, the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex, said that their hearts go out to those who lost their lives in the mosque shootings.
People write messages on a sheet of paper during a gathering at the New Zealander Embassy in Brussels to commemorate the victims of an attack on two mosques in New Zealand.
People perform funeral prayer in absentia for those who lost their lives during twin terror attacks in New Zealand mosques in Skopje, North Macedonia.
Women take part in a demonstration to protest against the Christchurch mosque attack in New Zealand, following Friday prayers in Istanbul, Turkey. The placard reads: "Say No to Global Terror!"
A man places a support message reading, "The hearts and prayers of Park Avenue Synagogue are with our Muslim brothers and sisters" in front of the Islamic Cultural Center in New York, New York.
A demonstrator hangs banners from multi-faith group Turn to Love during a vigil at New Zealand House in London.
Protesters demonstrate to denounce the New Zealand mosque attacks at the Fatih mosque in Istanbul, after a symbolic funeral prayer for the victims of the attacks.
Young demonstrators hold banners from the multi-faith group Turn to Love during a vigil at New Zealand House in London.
A floral tribute with a card placed by Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is seen outside New Zealand House in London.
Bangladeshi Muslims protest in Dhaka.
Flowers are placed on the front steps of the Wellington Masjid mosque in Kilbirnie in Wellington, New Zealand.
People attend a funeral ceremony in absentia in Duzce, Turkey, for the victims of the shootings.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.