Local Muslims React to New Zealand Shooting

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- Muslims in our area are reacting to the attack in New Zealand.

The people we spoke with outside of a mosque in Luzerne County were upset about the shooting in New Zealand.

The mosque asked the city's police department to be present during their midday prayer on Friday.

About 100 Muslims walked into the mosque on Scott Street in Wilkes-Barre, many of them thinking of the tragedy that happened at two mosques in New Zealand -- a shooting that killed 49 people and left dozens more injured.

"That makes us have very bad feelings. That's unbelievable what we have seen, 49 people get killed. They were just praying," said Anas Allouz of Kingston.

"I'm angry, but I'm not. It's very disheartening to see something like that where the world is going today and what's happening," Tahid Mian of Mountain Top said.

Muslims we spoke with say the attack was so surprising because Islam is a peaceful religion.

"We came from peace and we share the peace and we all love peace and that's how we live," Allouz said.

"I think it has to do with the leadership in some of the countries we live in. Islam is a peaceful religion. As a Muslim, everything is peaceful in what we do," said Salieu Ceesay.

The mosque asked Wilkes-Barre police to keep an eye on its midday prayer gathering as a precaution.

The presence was welcome but the worshippers we spoke with say the shooting in New Zealand won't keep them from practicing their faith.

"The mosque, that's how we pray. We ask the God to protect us, to help us, to support us. That's why we came, and we don't get scared," Allouz added.

The alleged shooter is in custody. Authorities in New Zealand are still investigating the deadly attack on the mosques.

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