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Vigil held for New Zealand shooting victims at Pocatello Mosque

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POCATELLO — Tuesday was a night of remembrance and unity in the Gate City after community members came together following the tragic shooting in New Zealand.

“People from different colors, religion, background, all coming together as one and it’s like one big family, and that’s what we all need to be,” said Dr. Fahim Rahim, who organized the event.

After Friday’s events at two mosques in Christchurch cost 50 people their lives and put 50 more in the hospital, Rahim was devastated, but wanted to give the community a chance to mourn together.

So at the Pocatello Mosque, members of the community met with candles, heavy hearts, and support for the victims, their families, and the Islamic community.

“We just really, truly need to move past the hate and the guessing that people are good or bad people, and just accept people for who they are, and really truly be a part of the solution and help fix any problems that may be out there,” said Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad.

“It’s important to see politicians and leaders like we had tonight who are making an effort to bring us closer, and not divide us, so I think it’s important for us to hear those narratives and those messages,” said Rahim.

A large, diverse crowd was met by city leaders, and leaders of different faiths, speaking against hate, prejudice and encouraging unity.

And hoping that these acts of good can outweigh the acts of hate.

“They’ve pulled together to show their support for the Islamic faith, and for people that are not of their faith, and just to show the love, and that we’re not going to tolerate hate, and we can’t tolerate hate,” Blad said.

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