There was a sombre mood at one of Australia’s biggest mosques tonight as more than 1000 Muslims prayed for the victims of New Zealand’s worst terror attack which killed 49 – most of whom followed the same faith.

Emotional scenes were captured as a defiant stream of Muslims ignored increased terror threats to Lakemba mosque in Sydney’s south-west to attend Friday evening prayers.

Dozens of police surrounded the mosque before the prayers began at 7.17pm to ensure everyone was safe.

The prayers come just hours after the horrific Christchurch terrorist attack. The mood at the Lakemba mosque was sombre yet resilient.

There was a sombre mood at one of Australia's biggest mosques tonight as more than 1000 Muslims prayed for the victims of New Zealand 's worst terror attack

There was a sombre mood at one of Australia’s biggest mosques tonight as more than 1000 Muslims prayed for the victims of New Zealand ‘s worst terror attack 

Dozens of police surrounded the mosque before the prayers began at 7.17pm to ensure everyone was safe

Vigilante Australians attended prayers at one of the country's biggest mosques, Lakemba in Sydney's south-west on Friday evening

Vigilante Australians attended prayers at one of the country’s biggest mosques, Lakemba in Sydney’s south-west on Friday evening

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Leader of the Opposition Michael Daley were among multiple politicians in attendance to pay their respect.

Just before 6pm one marked police car was seen circling the mosque, while another was parked outside.

Minutes before the prayers were set to commence more police arrived, with some patrolling the premises on foot while at least six surveyed the area in their cruisers.

A young woman outside the mosque told Daily Mail Australia: ‘I’m confused as to how and why someone would do this [terrorist attack].’

‘It’s more important than ever for us to attend prayers. Now is the most important time. It’s always been an issue but nothing’s been done. It’s the most important time to stand together.’

A male worshipper planning to attend the evening prayers said he was at a loss for words.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured middle) was among multiple politicians in attendance to pay their respect

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured middle) was among multiple politicians in attendance to pay their respect

Emotional scenes were captured as a defiant stream of Muslims ignored increased terror threats to Lakemba mosque in Sydney's south-west to attend Friday evening prayers

Emotional scenes were captured as a defiant stream of Muslims ignored increased terror threats to Lakemba mosque in Sydney’s south-west to attend Friday evening prayers 

The prayers come just hours after the horrific Christchurch terrorist attack, yet the mood at the Lakemba mosque was sombre yet resilient

The prayers come just hours after the horrific Christchurch terrorist attack, yet the mood at the Lakemba mosque was sombre yet resilient

A male worshipper planning to attend the evening prayers said he was at a loss for words over what happened in Christchurch

A male worshipper planning to attend the evening prayers said he was at a loss for words over what happened in Christchurch

‘My blood has gone cold the only thing that will calm me down is the head of that person,’ he said.

A young female worshipper watched the horrific video and warned others not to open it if it’s sent to them.

‘Don’t watch it. I was studying at university and my friends sent it to me. I thought it was a call of duty game. I was worried about coming today but I thought I should,’ she said.

A speaker at Lakemba mosque during the evening prayers said those who attended Friday prayers in Christchurch were ‘the most innocent people’ but were targeted by the young Australian man.

Leader of the Opposition Michael Daley (pictured middle) were among multiple politicians in attendance to pay their respect

A leader of the Opposition Michael Daley (pictured middle) were among multiple politicians in attendance to pay their respect

An increased police presence were seen surrounding the mosque before the prayers were set to begin at 7.17pm

An increased police presence was seen surrounding the mosque before the prayers were set to begin at 7.17pm

A speaker at Lakemba mosque during the evening prayers said those who attended Friday prayers in Christchurch were 'the most innocent people'

A speaker at Lakemba mosque during the evening prayers said those who attended Friday prayers in Christchurch were ‘the most innocent people’

‘What is the crime they’re doing? Nothing,’ he said, following the prayers.

‘People are very extremist in their thinking. They want revenge from nothing. They think by doing something like that is revenge.’

He warned those who attended the prayers not to be afraid.

‘We need our government to take some action. We need to see our politicians and police doing their job in a good way. We put our hands with our politicians especially the good ones,’ he said.

‘This is an act of terror targeted towards Muslims at the time of their prayers.

‘Not going to close the doors of our mosques and we’ll continue our daily prayers. We’ll stand in solidarity.’

A young woman outside the mosque told Daily Mail Australia: 'I'm confused as to how and why someone would do this [terrorist attack]'

A young woman outside the mosque told Daily Mail Australia: ‘I’m confused as to how and why someone would do this [terrorist attack]’

The prayers come just hours after the horrific Christchurch terrorist attack. The mood at the Lakemba mosque was sombre yet resilient

The prayers come just hours after the horrific Christchurch terrorist attack. The mood at the Lakemba mosque was sombre yet resilient

When asked if they were scared of something similar happening in Australia, one young female said she was ‘concerned’ but refused to be intimidated.

‘We’re actually strengthened. We’ll continue to go about our daily routine. It’s heartwarming to see everyone here today from all walks of life and religions standing in solidarity,’ she said.

Another young female worshipper said the attack was targeting Muslim people and called it a ‘Muslim phobic attack’.

‘This was a terrorist attack. We stand strong as a community. We won’t be intimated by that.’

Australian Muslims have been warned to be extra vigilant following the ‘terrorist’ shooting massacre of worshippers in New Zealand.

The 49 deaths at two mosques in Christchurch are the horrific consequence of hate, Muslims Australia president Rateb Jneid said on Friday.

Minutes before the prayers were set to commence more police arrived (pictured), with some patrolling the premises on foot while at least six surveyed the area in their cruisers

A heightened police presence was seen at Lakemba Mosque in Sydney's south-west on Friday evening
A heightened police presence was seen at Lakemba Mosque in Sydney’s south-west on Friday evening
The 49 deaths at two mosques in Christchurch are the horrific consequence of hate, Muslims Australia president Rateb Jneid said on Friday
The 49 deaths at two mosques in Christchurch are the horrific consequence of hate, Muslims Australia president Rateb Jneid said on Friday

‘This act of terror on innocent worshippers is an atrocity and we grieve with the victims and their families,’ Dr Jneid said in a statement.

One shooter has been identified as Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, from Grafton in NSW.

He live-streamed the massacre of dozens of people in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Witnesses reported hearing 50 shots and police are responding to the incident at Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch on the country’s South Island.

NSW Police moved to assure the public ‘there is no ongoing or specific threat to any mosque or place of worship in Sydney or across NSW’.

‘However, police have increased patrols and senior officers have also reached out to community and religious leaders across the state to provide support and reassurance,’ a spokesperson said in a statement.

When asked if they were scared of something similar happening in Australia, one young female said she was 'concerned' but refused to be intimidated

When asked if they were scared of something similar happening in Australia, one young female said she was ‘concerned’ but refused to be intimidated

A man who identified himself as Brenton Tarrant (pictured) live-streamed the massacre of dozens of people in Christchurch, New Zealand

A man who identified himself as Brenton Tarrant (pictured) live-streamed the massacre of dozens of people in Christchurch, New Zealand

Dr Jneid argues the New Zealand massacre is a product of ever-increasing Islamophobia and marginalisation of Muslims.

He said the atrocity was a reminder to all concerned, including political leaders and media commentators, ‘of the horrific consequences that an atmosphere of hate and division can lead to’.

He urged all governments to give extra attention to the rise of anti-Muslim sentiment and extremism.

Dr Jneid also encouraged all mosques and places of worship in Australia to be extra vigilant – and for members of the Muslim community to be particularly mindful of their safety in the coming days.

At least 40 people were reported dead as a result of the twin massacres on Friday, with the total rising to 49 within an hour

At least 40 people were reported dead as a result of the twin massacres on Friday, with the total rising to 49 within an hour

Witnesses reported hearing 50 shots and police are responding to the incident at Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch on the country's South Island. Pictured is a still from a live-stream of the shooting

Witnesses reported hearing 50 shots and police are responding to the incident at Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch on the country’s South Island. Pictured is a still from a live-stream of the shooting

 

VIALAUREN FERRI and LAURA WITHERS
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