Scenes from the Mackay vigil for the Christchurch attack.
Scenes from the Mackay vigil for the Christchurch attack. Zizi Averill

GALLERY: Hundreds stand as one against hate

HOURS after 50 people were killed in a terrorist attack in New Zealand, Queensland Police officers called Mackay's mosque leader to reassure him of his congregation's safety.

The Imam of the Bakers Creek Mosque, Ahmad Siddiqui said "the concern is only natural. After something like this everyone starts to think about themselves and how safe they are”.

Despite the Muslim community sharing a long history in the sugar city, Mr Siddiqui said there had been signs of tension from outsiders to the mosque.

Mr Siddiqui said it was a common occurrence to hear people hurl abuse at the mosque and its worshippers as they drove past.

"When someone drives past the mosque they scream something - and we're not really sure what they say. These are common occurrences and they've been happening for a long time. It's not something new,” he said.

"I've had my fair share of people coming up to me and making comments and remarks to me. And when people go past the mosque they do make their remarks. But it doesn't help when people are perpetrating the hatred of a specific group of people”

It has been a struggle for Mackay's Bakers Creek Mosque Imam Ahmad Siddiqui to comprehend how the perpetrators of the attack on Friday could carry so much hatred in their hearts.

"Hatred is what brings this forward. How someone could come to hate people like that - it really just is disgusting to us,” he said.

Despite the pain felt he said the Mackay community had shown strength and had chosen to "put hope before hate”.

At Mackay's Bluewater Quay last night, hundreds of people stood in solidarity paying tribute to the victims of Friday's terror attack.

The solemn vigil was organised by Amnesty International Mackay Action Group and saw attendance from Mackay region Mayor Greg Williamson, Mackay MP Julieanne Gilbert, Mirani MP Stephen Andrews and Labor candidate for Dawson Belinda Hassan.

Cr Williamson, Mr Siddiqui, a representative from Amnesty International Mackay and a representative of the New Zealand community all shared words of support to the large crowd.