In light of the horrendous mass shooting at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 15, faith leaders, law enforcement and elected officials issued a call for vigilance, security precautions and solidarity with the Muslim community to houses of worship.
Fifty people were killed during the massacre. Two days after the shootings, alleged White supremacist Brenton Harris Tarrant, 28, is the only person in custody that has been linked to the attack.
While no immediate threat to U.S. mosques has been identified, LAPD and the L.A. County Sheriffs Department provided additional patrols to Muslim worship centers in the Los Angeles area this past weekend. Also, the ecumenical community and several politicians condemned the shootings and racial intolerance.
Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the The Simon Wiesenthal Center, issued the following statement: “The Simon Wiesenthal Center expresses its outrage over the horrific attack against Muslims attending a mosque in New Zealand. The center condemns this act of terrorism… We are committed to confront bigots and haters wherever they are. This kind of fanaticism cannot be tolerated irrespective of one’s faith, creed or place or origin. We express our sincere condolences to the community and families of the victims.”
Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson also expressed sympathy for the victims. “We are saddened and disgusted by the horrific acts committed in New Zealand,” Wesson said. “We in Los Angeles stand in solidarity with New Zealand and the Muslim Community in the face of hatred, cruelty, and blatant Islamophobia.”
“American Muslims share the same values and freedoms that we all cherish, knowing that we are all in this together. All Americans deserve the right and freedom to worship in their own way, free of threats or violence,” Arsalan Bukhari, spokesman for the Council on Islamic-American Relations – L.A.