TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- “We weep for communities of faith everywhere.”

It was standing room only in Tempe Saturday evening at a vigil to remember the victims of the New Zealand mosque massacre.

The vigil was held at the Islamic Community Center of Tempe.

This follows a horrific attack just a few days before. Fifty people were killed and 50 more were injured in mass shooting at two Christchurch mosques.

[RELATED: Death toll rises to 50 in New Zealand mosque shootings, injuries also rise to 50]

"These guys are trying to create a backlash between Muslims and Christians, so we need to send a message that this will make us closer to one another and more cooperation and united with one another," said Senior Imam Ahmad Shqeirat.

Some participants had made signs expressing their support for New Zealand. Others prayed quietly.

One speaker at the vigil said, “No person should ever be afraid to go to their house of worship to pray.”

“No one will be scared into silence," another stated.

State lawmakers and leaders from other religions also spoke out to express their solidarity with the victims.

State Rep. Jennifer Jermaine said: “I’m here through the lens of love.”

Tempe police were seen on foot and on bicycle around the vigil to make sure everything was secure.

"We want to make sure everyone is safe, and you don’t have that fear in you that I’m going to a school or a church or a mosque or a concert, and I’m not going to come home," said one of the vigil's speakers, Sky Khan.

Earlier in the day, Muslim leaders in Arizona met to discuss what can be done to stay safe in places of worship.

Leaders called for more police protection and said that it's important to stand up against racism.

"It shows the inhumane act of a person who calls himself a human being. It shows me just how cowardly he is when a person carries a gun and starts shooting innocent people, armless, harmless. That's no courage. That's cowardice," said Muslim leader Hani Rahal.


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.



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