Heightened security, community support at Lexington mosque after NZ terror attack

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – Today, just like very Friday, is congregational prayer day at the Masjid Bilal Ibn Rabah mosque on Russell Cave Road.

Photo: WKYT/Lauren Minor

Later Friday afternoon, members of the congregation will begin to gather, along with members of other faiths, drawn to show their support and solidarity in the wake of a deadly terror attack at a mosque in New Zealand.

Waheedah Muhammad, with the Kentucky Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR,) says the mosque’s congregation’s hearts and thoughts go out to those affected by the violence in New Zealand.

The news hits hard for Muslim communities, and others, all over the world.

Security is obviously a concern, and Muhammad says the mosque will be taking security precautions today, and every Friday going forward. CAIR has shared security safety guidelines to Muslim communities all across the country. Locally, the Kentucky chapter has reached out to the Mayor’s Office and the Lexington Police Department, who are working with them.

Muhammad says Lexington has a wonderful interfaith community, but that's not the case everywhere.

"That type of rhetoric that spews hatred of someone because of their religion, because of their ethnicity, their background - that's what leads to this type of violence,” says Muhammad. “We really need to, as a people, say ‘No,’ as citizens, as parents as teachers."

Muhammad says she wants to thank those who reached out within the community by phone and email all throughout the night, expressing their condolences and support through this difficult time.

WKYT will be attending Friday's service and will have more on this story later this evening.

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