Lately, the news has been filled with stories of hate and discrimination, but in one corner of the globe, that hasn't stopped a community from bonding.
Canada-based CBC.ca reported that on September 1, Saint Andre Bissette Catholic Secondary School, located in the city of London, Ontario, transformed its athletic field into a praying ground where more than 5,000 Muslims showed up to conduct prayers for Eid al-Adha.
Initially, it was members of the Muslim community in London who had approached the board of the Catholic school to ask if they could use the grounds to host Eid celebrations.
CBC News reported that the response from the committee was simply, "This is a wonderful opportunity."
"It's really important that we come to know where our similarities are and gain that greater understanding of each other... I think when you do that, a lot of misconceptions fall away," said Linda Staudt, the Director of Education at the board.
The show of unity in London's community came a week after anti-racism rallies were conducted at London's City Hall.
More than 500 demonstrators showed up to counter and outnumber a group of 30-40 protestors who were from an organization known as “Patriots of Canada Against the Islamization of The West” (PEGIDA).
Recent Neo-Nazi movements that have been on the rise in the U.S. had some spillover effects into Canada, specifically in places such as London, Ontario, a city with a high number of Muslim and Arab population.
However, the city and its community are fighting back by choosing to stand together in support of the Muslim community.
The Eid al-Adha celebration proved to be a successful show of solidarity.
According to Global News, the Muslims of the city did not celebrate Eid alone. They were joined by others from within their community whilst the Imam conducted the prayers and ended the celebration with a message of hope and unity.
“We had people here from our faith, and we had people from different faiths as well. The mayor was here. We had a few councillors from the city... It doesn’t matter who you are, what faith you belong to… this city, London, is one community,” said Jihad Elrafih of the London Muslim Mosque.
Social media reactions to the anti-racism rally
Jeremy Lerivee, clings tightly onto his anti-racism sign
Najwa Zebian, a Lebanese/Canadian poet, inspirational speaker and doctoral student gives a speech at the rally
There are only two options, we can either choose love or hate.
The people of London, Ontario have chosen to love.