AP NEWS

Student plans inter-faith vigil at mosque in The Woodlands to honor lives lost

March 19, 2019

When a gunman killed 11 people in a synagogue in Pennsylvania in October, 18-year-old Noor Saleh, a student at The Woodlands High School, visited a local synagogue to pay her respects for those in the Jewish faith community who lost their lives.

Now, in the event of another tragic mass shooting at a place of worship, Saleh and her mother are planning a vigil. This time, it’ll be to honor the 50 people who were killed March 15 in the shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

“It’s extremely important in our community to bring light to what happened around the world,” Saleh said.

The event is scheduled for Friday, March 22, beginning at 7:15 p.m. at the Masjid Al-Ansaar mosque, which is located at 15217 Sunset Trail in The Woodlands. Saleh said the vigil will last 30 to 45 minutes.

“We’ll have prayers from faith leaders, words of remembrance and compassion and a moment of silence (for the victims),” Saleh said.

The event is not only open to the public, but it is to be a vigil with input from different faith leaders. The mosque’s imam will lead a prayer, and Rabbi Matthew Berger of Congregation Beth Shalom of The Woodlands as well as other church leaders are to be in attendance.

Saleh said they’ve also invited local government officials to attend the vigil.

“We hope to raise awareness to the issue of gun violence and also get to know people in our community. If, as a community, we’re able to come together and get to know one another, we’re able to work around the hatred and build some bridges,” Saleh said.

jane.stueckemann@chron.com