A man who guarded a Mosque in Manchester while worshippers prayed inside, telling them “I will keep watch while you pray” has gone viral on social media.
Andrew Graystone stood outside the Medina Mosque, Manchester, on Friday after hearing of the horrifying Mosque massacre which took place in New Zealand.
Mr Graystone was pictured with a placard saying: “You are my friends. I will keep watch while you pray.”
He said Muslims at a Levenshulme mosque “beamed” when they saw his act.
“There are two ways you can respond to an attack like this – you can respond with fear or you can respond with friendship,” he said.
Similar acts at mosques in the Midlands and North East of England have also gone viral.
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.