Ditmas Park

Brooklynites of all faiths send message of support to Muslim neighbors

March 22, 2019 Paul Frangipane
People of various faiths met outside Makki Majid in Ditmas Park to show solidarity with their Muslim neighbors. Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane

Congregants of Makki Masjid in Ditmas Park left their congregational prayer on Friday to a crowd of people of all faiths waiting outside in solidarity, a week after a white supremacist shot and killed 50 Muslims inside two mosques in New Zealand.

The United Jewish Appeal – Federation of New York (UJA) organized the gathering outside the Coney Island Avenue mosque as part of a New York-wide day of solidarity with Muslims in the community.

Muslim community members stand with people are various faiths as well as officers from the NYPD outside Makki Masjid. Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane
Muslim community members stand with people are various faiths as well as officers from the NYPD outside Makki Masjid. Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane

“As a faith community, we decry all acts of hatred and stand together in solidarity with the Muslim faith communities in our midst,” UJA said in a statement.

NYPD officers of the Community Affairs Bureau also showed up to show their support.

“Through us, there isn’t one member of NYPD who isn’t willing to help everyone pray to whatever god they want to believe in,” Deputy Inspector Paul Valerga told worshippers during the afternoon service. “We live in harmony here in New York City.”

Deputy Inspector Paul Valerga greets worshipers after they’ve left the afternoon prayer. Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane
Deputy Inspector Paul Valerga greets worshipers after they’ve left the afternoon prayer. Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane

Upon leaving the mosque, people were immediately greeted with signs reading “Stand Together NY,” while demonstrators shared their messages of support.

“We honor and we welcome our Jewish friends, our Christian friends and other friends all together. That’s the beauty of this country. That’s the beauty of America,” said Shams Zaman, president of the Pak-American Society. “We will live together and I really appreciate all you guys came here for solidarity.”

Shams Zaman, president of the Pak-American Society, spoke to peace demonstrators outside Makki Masjid. Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane
Shams Zaman, president of the Pak-American Society, spoke to peace demonstrators outside Makki Masjid. Eagle photo by Paul Frangipane

UJA also held gatherings in the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island and Westchester.

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