Local Islamic community members react to New Zealand mosque attacks

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(WBNG) — People of the Binghamton area’s Islamic community say they are horrified of the mass shooting and are being offered assistance in this time of need.

Members of the Islamic Awareness Center are of many coping with the news of the mass shooting in New Zealand that left at least 49 people dead. New Zealand’s prime minister is calling the shooting terrorism.

“It just breaks my heart…it sickens me,” said Sister Mary Afify. “She said she had to explain to her own granddaughter the horror of the news early Friday morning.

“It was their Friday, their day of prayer,” she said. “It makes me so sad that people just feel like they can go around and hurt other people.”

Afify said the community has reached out to ensure their safety and well-being. She said a New York State trooper checked in multiple times Friday, so they would feel comforted.

To make sure the Islamic Awareness Center in Binghamton is safe as well, Afify said those who pray there participate in watching out for each other.

“The brothers here, they’ll be much more observant during prayer time of people coming in and out,” said Afify.

However, the Islamic community said it is remaining strong in wake of the tragedy.

“Nobody has to accept everything that everybody else does, they just need to show respect and understand, try to understand what people is. Be friendly. Be nice.”

Meanwhile, the Broome County Sheriff’s Office said officers are always on the lookout for suspicious behavior.

Authorities said if you feel unsafe, you can request assistance from the department.

Officials also advised if you see something suspicious, say something.

Anne Sparaco

Anne Sparaco

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