CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) — Local Muslim worshipers and leaders out are reacting to the deadly attacks at two New Zealand mosques that left at least 49 people dead on Friday.
8News stopped by the Islamic Center of Virginia, where services continued for people of the Islamic faith.
Ammar Amonette, the imam of the center, said he had a hard time processing the news. Imam Amonette leads daily prayers at the center.
“It’s a tragedy when any innocent human being is targeted because of hatred and ignorance,” Imam Amonette said.
Amonette said increased security at the mosque has been a top priority lately. “Security has become a bigger, bigger concern now for several years,” he said.
Malik Kahn has been practicing Islam for decades. Kahn says many people misunderstand what the Islamic faith is about.
“You see these acts of violence and they’re happening a little bit more consistently, a little bit more in terms of frequency,” Kahn said.
“There are some Muslims in the Middle East that have created problems for us like ISIS,” he continued.
Imam Amonette and Kahn say these acts have made them stronger in their faith.
“That’s just going to make us work harder, work more with our Jewish and Christian neighbors, Sikh and Hindu neighbors, and everyone else for the good of everyone here in Virginia and throughout the country,” Imam Amonette told 8News.