Muslim Council of Scotland holds vigil for victims of New Zealand mosque terror attack

16 March 2019

Sister Linsay Taylor addresses the crowd. Photograph: Annemarie Gallagher

The public turn out to pay their respects

Hundreds came together on Friday evening at the Buchanan Street steps to pay tribute to the victims of a terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The vigil was organised by the Muslim Council of Scotland as a show of support after shootings at two mosques in Christchurch claimed the lives of 49 people and left many others injured, including young children.

In a post shared across social media, the organisation invited people to gather at 5PM at the Buchanan Street steps to stand vigil.

A variety of speakers, including politicians and members of Glasgow’s religious communities, paid tribute to the victims of the attack.

Speakers voiced support for the victims and condemned the rise of fascism and intolerance. Interfaith unity and support were also emphasised. Sister Linsay Taylor, a representative of the Muslim Council of Scotland, urged people in the crowd to “turn to [their] neighbor[s] and say ‘We are one and we are united.’”

Humza Yousaf, MSP for Glasgow Pollok, was amongst the speakers that addressed the crowd, saying: “It has never, ever failed to move me that Glaswegians have turned out as you have with hours of notice. And you can’t see this on your recording, your cameras, but it’s baltic, it’s freezing and yet you’ve come out here to stand in solidarity with the Muslim community and with peace-loving people all across the world to say we will not let them divide us.”

Humza Yousaf commenting on the attack. Photograph: Annemarie Gallagher

Speakers also urged vigilance against inflammatory speech and division. Sandra White, MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, condemned sharing of video footage from the attacks by media outlets, calling it “fuel for the fire.” White continued, “We have to make sure we protect the freedom of all our people, and particularly our Muslim community.”

After the vigil concluded, the organisation posted a statement on their Facebook page. “We thank everyone who came out today for our vigil in solidarity with the victims of the New Zealand Mosque terrorist attack. There was a resounding message of unity from all of our guests and a turn out of several hundred; a true sentiment of our togetherness at this time of deep tragedy.”

The Muslim Council of Scotland have plans to hold a candlelit vigil next Saturday 23 March, with more details to follow.

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