TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Following the mass shooting at two mosques in New Zealand, the Islamic Center of Tucson issued this statement.
"Islamic Center is certainly saddened at the loss of innocent lives.
It is an attack by an ignorant person on humanity, not just of followers of one faith.
It calls for more concerted efforts by all of us including Muslims to educate masses about one another and how to deal with differences.
WE will not allow such hateful acts to divide humanity or scare us away from our worship places.
We appreciate the support from fellow citizens.
And we thank the local authorities for providing the security to our mosques."
The statement was released by Ifan Sheik, who is on the board of the Islamic Center.
He said the center had received calls and messages from many religious groups and organizations offering support, even some saying they will attend prayers in the prayer hall.
The Tucson Police Department covered all the parking meters in front of the center with red bags and put up temporary not parking signs.
A half dozen officers made themselves highly visible at the mosque.
Generally, on security guard is stationed at the front door during prayers, but the police department offered its help.
It made a difference for some.
“I saw the news this morning before my test and I was, I’m not sure I’ll make it to the mosque today or not,” said 18 year old U of A Student Moeed Irfan. “But then they called the police protection in, I feel much better having the police around.”