By Louis Chan, AsAmNews National Correspondent
Muslim Americans are urging vigilance in the wake of a deadly shooting during worship at two mosques in New Zealand that left at least 49 dead.
Muslim Advocates, a civil rights group, issued a statement saying
“as Muslims across the world and across America gather to worship today, we urge them to stay vigilant and strong.”
The Council of American-Islamic Relations is issuing a “call for national action to challenge growing Islamophobia, White supremacy and anti-immigrant bigotry.”
“We mourn the heartbreaking killings of men, women and children gathered for prayer in their houses of worship and urge leaders in our nation and worldwide to speak out forcefully against the growing anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant hate that appears to have motivated these White supremacist terrorists. In the wake of this tragedy, we urge mosques, Islamic schools and other community institutions in the United States and around the world to take stepped-up security precautions, particularly during times of communal prayer.”
Muslim Advocates echoed that sentiment, pointing out recent incidents of violence against Muslims in Bloomington, Minnesota; Austin and Victoria, Texas; Bellevue, Washington; and Thonotosassa, Florida. In addition the group said authorities were able to stop other planned attacks in
Islamberg, New York; Jacksonville, Florida; and Garden City, Kansas.
“We are devastated. Today is a tragedy not just for Muslims, but for all people of faith and goodwill. A house of worship should be a sacred place where people are safe, not a target of hate and bloodshed,” the group said.
The shooters live stream the shooting at social media. Three men and one woman are under arrest, according to USA Today.
WJLA reports police in Los Angeles, New York and Minneapolis have increased security around mosques.
In Philadelphia, KYW reports police have boosted patrols around both mosques and synagogues. ABC reports similar security efforts are being taken in San Francisco.
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