Man keeps watch outside local mosque as Muslims from his town pray

A man is going viral after he stood outside a local mosque in a show of solidarity with Muslims in his town in the wake of the terror attack in Christchurch, New Zealand that left 49 people dead.

Andrew Graystone stood outside a mosque in Manchester, England holding a sign that read, ” You are my friends. I will keep watch while you pray.”

A picture of Graystone holding the sign is being circulated around social media.

“There are two ways you can respond to an attack like this – you can respond with fear or you can respond with friendship,” he told the BBC.

Graystone added that he made the gesture because he “wanted to make sure that people know we can respond with friendship.”

“As people walked up, you could see in their eyes that they were looking at somebody standing outside their mosque, thinking ‘Oh no, is this some kind of protest or whatever,’” he said.

But when people realized that he was there out of love, “their faces broke and they beamed and smiled.”

Graystone, who owns a Christian charity, said that he was overwhelmed with the positive response he’s received.

“I hadn’t intended for anybody other than the people at Medina Mosque to know about this,” he told the BBC, adding that “there are little things that lots of people can do to just express friendship rather than fear with Muslim friends, and neighbors and colleagues – so I just took one little action.”

A similar image of a man in Sunderland, England was posted to Twitter, showing the man standing outside a mosque holding a sign that read, “This Christian stands against racism and violence towards all Muslims.”

Featured image via Twitter 

Sky Palma

Before launching DeadState back in 2012, Sky Palma has been blogging about politics, social issues and religion for over a decade. He lives in Los Angeles and also enjoys Brazilian jiu jitsu, chess, music and art.