A BRIT told Muslims at his local mosque “I will keep watch while you pray” in a heartwarming gesture of solidarity after the New Zealand terror attack.
Andrew Graystone’s message of “friendship over fear” has gone viral, with people across the world saying he has “restored their faith in humanity”.
The Christian, 57, from Manchester, stood outside the Madina mosque on Friday after hearing about the shooting at two mosques in Christchurch that has left at least 50 dead.
He held a cardboard sign with a handwritten message: “You are my friends. I will keep watch while you pray.”
The dad said he felt compelled to support his local Muslim community following the atrocity which has sent shockwaves across the globe.
“I thought what it would feel like if you were a British Muslim going to Friday prayers today, wondering whether you would feel like you might be under attack,” he told Metro.
“We can respond to these things with either fear or with friendship so I thought I would go to my local mosque and make it clear I saw the people there as friends.”
He greeted worshippers with “salaam” or peace as they arrived for Friday prayers.
Mr Graystone revealed that some people were suspicious when they first saw him as they feared he may be a protester.
“But as soon as they saw my notice and my smiley face they realised I was there as a friend,” he said.
“When people came out of the mosque there was such a warmth and lots of people wanted to shake my hand, and they gave me some chicken biryani so that’s a win all round.”
He said he was surrounded by hundreds of people thanking and blessing him.
“Some people said their faith in humanity was restored,” he said.
At first he didn’t think anything of it when an onlooker snapped a picture of him and his sign outside the mosque.
But after the images were shared on social media, they quickly went viral and have now been seen across the world.