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Local Mosque Members React to New Zealand Attacks

March 15, 2019 06:45 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- The attack on two mosques in New Zealand claimed the lives of 49 people; in response, the local mosque took extra precautions Friday morning to assure the safety, and ease the minds, of their members.

"These instances of hatred and violence against Muslims and members of the Jewish community and other minorities are becoming just far too common," said Regina Mustafa, one of the board members of the Masjed Abubakar Siddiq Mosque.

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Too common, she says, when recounting the numerous attacks over the years on synagogues, and mosques. 

"The extent of the violence, the fact that it was live streamed while it was happening and that two different mosques actually were targeted on the same day; so it was a highly coordinated effort.. but I feel I'm still hopeful," said Mustafa.

Board members reached out to their members and informed them that the Rochester Police Department had been contacted, and agreed to provide extra patrolling in the area. 

As members of the mosque sporadically entered for Friday morning prayer, patrol officers and K-9 unit officer James Bradley filtered back and forth around the mosque, and inside, to show their support and reassure the community that their safety is important.

"Everybody that's working will be notified, to make sure we give extra patrol to this particular area here because of what happened," Bradley said. "So the plan is to meet with the person in charge here and let them know that we're here for them and to make sure they have that sense of security that we are here to protect them."
 
With that, board member Said Hussein said his mind was partially at peace.

"We feel safe that we're going to see some law enforcement to come in and help us and stay here in person," he said, but the added surveillance didn't stop mosque board members from orchestrating a safety plan.

Said instructed members coming for prayer to park in the parking lot nearest the mosque as a safety measure -- as well as to use specific points of exit and entry to the building. 

"We condemn all those terrorist attacks on any community," Hussein said. "Whether Muslim, Jew, Christian, Hindu, or Buddhism. Whatever they are it doesn't matter, you know, we're all connected."

Credits

Jaclyn Harold

Copyright 2019 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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