APD increases security at Islamic Center in wake of New Zealand attack

Here in Albuquerque, members of an Islamic Center gathered to pray for the victims in New Zealand’s deadly massacre with heightened security on their property.

“Really devastated,” Samia Assed said. “Woke up today with a heavy heart.”

A day after the world learned 49 people were killed during a time of worship inside two New Zealand mosques, members of the Islamic Center of New Mexico gathered to pray and reflect on the tragic news.

“Families, children, men, and women who went to pray and were met with so much hate,” Assed said.

Assed, one of the many to attend prayer at the center Friday, said while she feels safe here in Albuquerque she hopes leaders all over the world are listening.

“There is a threat to the Muslim community,” she said. “We are innocent bystanders and we are not part of the problem, we are part of the solution.”

Friday, members of the center located in Albuquerque were met with extra security on the property.  

“The focus is on the Islamic Center, obviously, because what happened the last 24 hours, Officer Simon Drobik said. 

They were also met with flowers on their doorsteps and notes from the community that read “New Mexico is sorry for your loss.”

“This speaks as to who Albuquerque is right here,” Muhamed Abdel-Hack said. “You can’t ask for a better community than this.”

Leaders at the Islamic Center said the mass shooting hit too close to home, but are grateful to hear from other religious groups in Albuquerque. 

“To really come together as a single voice, regardless of what tragedy takes place, we do come together and unite and to speak out against hate and against violence and encourage education, love, and tolerance,” Abdel-Hack said. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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