After New Zealand massacre, local religious groups to increase security

March 15, 2019

After 49 people were killed in shootings Friday at two New Zealand mosques, religious leaders and law enforcement agencies across the Triangle said they are stepping up security at places of worship.

Imran Aukhil, spokesman for Islamic Association of Raleigh, said many Muslims were in mourning after the shootings, which New Zealand’s prime minister called a terrorist attack.

“This is a difficult time for Muslims everywhere around the world,” Aukhil said. “It’s not really, to some extent, unexpected.”

“We’re reviewing our security protocols and enhancing security where necessary to protect our community,” he said. “But I think we’re still in that period of shock and trying to figure out what’s happening and what we need to do.”

The Morrisville Police Department said on Facebook that it will have more security at places of worship within the town.

“We are extremely saddened to hear of the horrific events in New Zealand,” the department said. “We are committed to maintaining the safety and security of our faith-based community.”

Carolina Peace Center, a group that advocates against violence, will hold a vigil 6:30 p.m. Friday “to come together to pray and remember those who died to this horrible tragedy and in this dark moment allow our love and compassion unite for peace and security for Muslims and all other faith and non-religious communities,” according to a statement issued by the group.