Town MP Mike Hill has written to the Muslim Community in Hartlepool in light of the massacre in Christchurch New Zealand, which left 50 dead and dozens wounded.
His letter comes in the light of Cleveland Police increasing security around local mosques following the attacks last Friday.
It comes after Tahir Selby, imam of Nasir Mosque in Brougham Terrace in the town, thanked residents of Hartlepool for showing support following the horror incident.In a letter to both the Nasir Mosque in Brougham Terrace and the Muslim Welfare Association and mosque in Murray Street, Mr Hill said: “I wanted to write personally ahead of this weeks Friday prayers in light of the sickening, barbaric and hate filled terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, to express my deepest sympathies to Hartlepool’s Muslim communities and to say that I stand in solidarity with you.
“My heart goes out to all victims and their families, mosques are a place of worship and to be attacked whilst people are in prayer is a sickening act.
“I have always enjoyed visiting both our mosques in the town and have always been made to feel welcome. I am therefore devastated by the news from New Zealand and condemn the atrocity in the strongest terms.
“Here in Hartlepool we are proud and tolerant people who stand by each other in times of strife and so I say with absolute and unwavering certainty that we fully support our brothers and sisters in the Muslim community and wish you peace and prosperity.”
Mr Selby said: “I would like to thank all the lovely people of Hartlepool who had shown us support after hearing the terrible news of the murder of Muslims who were worshipping God at their Mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
“We are overwhelmed by the love and support of the citizens of Hartlepool who have laid flowers in our garden, written or telephoned us expressing their prayers and condolences.
“Yesterday I attended the ‘LOVE Hartlepool’ meeting with Farhan Ali – Outreach Secretary and for me, there is no better way of expressing our love for Hartlepool than this great show of everyone standing in solidarity, no matter what our beliefs, colour or nationality.