Dozens Gather At Masjid-E-Ali Mosque For Candlelight Vigil

Istanbul Vigil - 3

Dozens of people gathered at the Masjid-e-Ali Mosque’s courtyard for a candlelight vigil against terrorism.

More than 50 people gathered in the courtyard of the Masjid-e-Ali Mosque June 30 to hold a candlelight vigil in remembrance of those killed by terrorists.

The event was sparked by the June 28 attack at Istanbul Ataturk Airport in Turkey, in which 44 people were killed and about 240 injured.

Alex Kharazi, vice president of the mosque and president of the Franklin Township Interfaith Council, said the vigil was held to “categorically condemn” the terrorist attack.

“It is obvious that terrorism and extremism know no borders,” he said. “We are gathered here to pray for peace, unity and love.”

Mayor Phillip Kramer told the crowd that “we can’t let their terror and violence exceed the love that we have for each other. Please continue this.”

The Rev. Sharon E. Cully of Somerset Presbyterian Church said, “we are here tonight to recognize those who have been taken away from us.”

“We stand here as peace-makers,” she said. “We are here to say that as long as there is breath in our bodies,” we will work for peace.

The Rev. George Montanari of Middlebush Reformed Church said that attacks such as the one in Istanbul rip apart the fabric of society.

“Tonight we are gathered here because we are each other’s commitment to be one of the stitches to repair it,” he said. “Once we have repaired it, the fabric of our world is stronger than it was before.”

“We gather here in solidarity,” the mosque’s Imam, Rizwan Rizvi, said. “No religion condones this act of atrocity.”

“When you have a soft heart for someone who has given their life, no matter their background, that is humanity,” he said.

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