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Muslim chaplain Yasin Ahmed speaks during a vigil March 18 on Ho Plaza to honor the 50 victims of the March 15 terror attacks at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Vigil honors victims of the New Zealand mosque shootings

Yasin Ahmed, Cornell’s Muslim chaplain, led a vigil March 18 on Ho Plaza to remember the 50 people killed in the March 15 shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The vigil outside Willard Straight Hall was organized by the Muslim Chaplaincy at Cornell and the Muslim Educational and Cultural Association. It included a moment of silence for the victims and speeches from members of the campus’ Muslim community.

Ahmed was interviewed March 19 on the award-winning “All Things Equal” radio show, where he discussed the local response to those terrorist attacks.

“I think it felt like a punch to the gut for a lot of different people,” Ahmed told host Gary Stewart, associate vice president for community relations. “There’s been an outpouring of support, which has been incredibly appreciated, definitely within the Ithaca community and the Cornell community. It’s been really healing in a lot of ways.”

Ahmed noted that people from surrounding communities, as well as from Cornell, added to the “cathartic feel” of the gathering.

“Everyone was able to get out so many different emotions,” Ahmed told Stewart. “We had six different people speak, and each came out with a complete different message. But it was all showing that the way we respond to tragedy is going to be different based on the individual, and that regardless of how you feel in that moment, it’s OK.”

– Tom Fleischman

Media Contact

Gillian Smith