Photos credit: Oliver Trapnell
Hundreds of students joined in the ‘Jummah on the Plaza’ yesterday to support the Muslim society in prayer in light of the Christchurch shooting that occurred last week.
The collective prayer was hosted by a collaboration between the Kent Uni ISOC, Canterbury Mosque and Kent Union.
The event began with a sermon in which all who were gathered were invited to join in the prayer and was presented by Mawlana Imran Hussain who shared an impassioned speech about the recent events in Christchurch.
He highlighted the importance of solidarity - now more than ever - and thanked those who came for their support.
Hussain also vehemently reinforced the notion that terrorism and Islam have never been linked and that Islam is a religion that practices peace between all individuals.
The sermon was followed by a jummah (a congregational prayer) and a few minutes of silence which encouraged individuals supporting the event to also pay their respects.
Last week’s mass shootings at Christchurch which claimed the lives of 50 people sparked international outcry and grief to both Muslim and non-Muslim communities worldwide.
Prayer was followed by a few speeches from prominent members of Kent county and Kent Union including Sasha Langeveldt (VP Activities & President Elect at Kent Union), who denounced islamophobia and called out the attacks for what they were – terrorism caused by white supremacists.
The solidarity of all individuals, regardless of their faith who came to the event, shone through with boundless passion as is evidenced by the positive turnout.
The event also emphasised the solidarity of the University of Kent as a whole, especially after the leaked controversial messages from Liberty Union which have caused major upset and anger from many Kent students.
Within one week of the shootings, New Zealand’s Prime minister Jacinda Ardern called for new legislation banning the ownership of all military style weapons, a move supported by local, national and international communities.
The jummah came at a crucial time, since now more than ever, the University of Kent and Kent Union have shown cohesion and support in order to eliminate allegations of white supremacy and racism and hold true to its core beliefs of inclusivity and diversity.