Local Muslims, other leaders speak out in wake of New Zealand mosque attacks

Police step up patrols around local places of worship

Sloane Martin
March 15, 2019 - 3:44 pm

Sloane Martin WCCO Radio

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The local Muslim community says they will not be deterred from following their faith after the mass shootings in New Zealand.  A gunman opened fire at two mosques in Christchurch Friday, killing 49 people and wounding nearly 50 others.

"This attack will not succeed in pushing Muslims away from the mosques," said Imam Asad Zaman, executive director of the Muslim-American Society of Minnesota.  "Our Muslim community intends to participate fully in the Friday prayers of today, and going forward, we intend to be proud of our Muslim identity."

While Muslim leaders mourn what New Zealand officials have called an act of terrorism, they also are denouncing white supremacist ideology.

"This is not a matter of good, or bad, or adequate security measures at the mosque," said Asma Mohammed with Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment. "It is a matter of white supremacy.  We know where this man was radicalized.  He wasn't radicalized at some terrorist cell in Syria or Somalia.  He was radicalized online."

Both the Minneapolis and St. Paul Police Departments have been in contact with CAIR and have committed to stepping up patrols around local mosques and other Muslim community centers. 

RELATED: Three men face hate crime charges for bombing of Bloomington mosque

Reaction has been strong agains the attacks from various people on Twitter.

Governor Tim Walz: 

Senator Amy Klobuchar:

Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson: