HOUSTON — Standing up against hate!
It was the message behind a rally at the River Oaks Islamic Center on Saturday afternoon.
The diverse group of residents, lawmakers and religious leaders wanted to show Houston that hate will not win.
The horrors of the terrorist attack may have taken place half a world away but their pain is felt in Houston.
Those who gathered mourn with those affected but also want action with hopes something like that never happens here.
“This is our time. This is our watch," Texas Representative Al Green said. "What happens now is on our page of history.”
As the Muslim community copes with the massacre inside two New Zealand mosques Houston showed they’re not alone in their time of suffering.
“A heinous act committed against one is a heinous act committed all," Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said.
They all wanted to promote peace.
Kevin Block, who is Jewish, said people should respect all faiths and religions.
Their message is that hatred and bigotry is not tolerated.
Susan Nerlove also attended the rally.
“If we stop talking about it we’ve basically given up and we can’t give up because we can end it by just continuing to show up,” she said.
It’s a show of support some have seen through their own tragedies.
“When the tree of life incident occurred… we were struck by the diversity of the community, the attendance there, that came out to stand with the Jewish community at a very, very sad, difficult time,” Block said.
Local leaders don’t want people to be afraid to go to their houses of worship.
“We continue to pray for those families but when finish praying we’ve got a lot of work to do and it starts yesterday," Turner said.
It’s a mission for change that elected officials say can happen if lawmakers take action.
“To make a real commitment that something positive has to come from the United States congress and the president of the United States," Texas Representative Sheila Jackson Lee said.
The Stand Against Hate rally ended with prayers, a moment of silence and showing each other that in times of darkness love always win.
Following the shootings in New Zealand President Trump did tweet out his support but some critics said it hasn’t gone as far as denouncing white supremacy.
- New Zealand mosque attacks death toll rises to 50
- Man who stood up to mosque gunman probably saved lives
- Trump downplays white nationalism threat after New Zealand massacre
- 'Love always wins': New Zealanders reach out to Muslims in wake of mass shooting
- Houston mayor, police chief promise security for Islamic community after New Zealand attacks
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