Vigil held in Dearborn for victims of New Zealand mosque attacks

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About a hundred people gathered for a candlelight vigil at the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn to remember the victims of the terrorist attack in New Zealand.

"It's a tragedy that is a hate crime against Muslims," said Alex Hamdan. "But today it's Muslims, tomorrow it could be Christians, it could be Jews."

The gunman, a self-proclaimed white supremacist, attacked two mosques in New Zealand killing 49 people. Another 20 were seriously injured.

The shooter live-streamed the carnage. He posted a manifesto online filled with white nationalist, anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric. It also called President Donald Trump a symbol of renewed white identity.

Journalist: "Do you see, today, white nationalism as a growing threat around the world?"

"I don't really," Trump said. "I think it is a small group of people that has very, very serious problems I guess."

Trump, who offered his sympathies to victims of the shootings on Twitter, dismissed the notion that white nationalism is on the rise.

"Everyone of us has the responsibility to stand up and say enough is enough," said Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn).

Dingell spoke at the interfaith vigil. She does not have to be a Muslim to weep with those who are grieving. 

"These are my brothers and sisters," she said. "I live across the street from this mosque and I want them to be safe at all times. They're my family, they're my community."

"I think it is time for the hate to stop," said George Hnatiuk. "We need to come together as one people. We have to live together regardless of what our beliefs are."

Metro Detroit has the largest Arab-American population outside of the Middle East - many are Muslims. 

Their message in light of the massacre in New Zealand is unity.

"We are here as brothers and sisters in humanity as people," Hamdan said. "We need to stand together, be united, stand strong against this hate."

The Islamic Center of America will hold a memorial for victims of the New Zealand shootings on Sunday.