Cleveland police pledge “special attention” to mosque safety after New Zealand attacks

Cleveland police pledge “special attention” to mosque safety after New Zealand attacks
Cleveland mosque

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The attack at a pair of mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand killed 49 and wounded many more.

The shootings, which happened during Friday prayers, have rattled Muslim communities across the world, including Cleveland.

Cleveland police pledge “special attention” to mosque safety after New Zealand attacks

On Friday, Cleveland Police said they would be paying special attention to the safety of Muslim places of worship.

Imam Mutawaf Shaheed says Masjid Al Mu’min, a mosque on the East Side of Cleveland, has long been focused on security precautions

"We have always been vigilant. We have always had security. At the door, you can't just walk in. Somebody has to answer the door," said Shaheed.

He says he wasn't surprised by the shootings, after seeing a wave of violence in places of worship around the world.

"It's not just mosques. The mosques just happened to be this time. Last time it was a synagogue, before it was a school. There seems to be a random thing by these frustrated people. And this thing that happened in New Zealand, it was an act of terrorism, as all of these acts that haven taken place. They're acts of terrorism," said Shaheed.

On Friday afternoon, Global Cleveland planned a vigil on the steps of City Hall, in honor and remembrance of those who lost their lives in New Zealand. President Joe Cimperman said it was important to send a message of love and support to the local Muslim community.

“There’s love and there’s hate. There’s light and there’s dakness. There’s peace and there’s Christchurch. We have to decide as a city and as a community what side we stand on,” said Cimperman. “I know what side we stand on. We stand on the sight of light and love.”

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