Dozens in KC’s Muslim community gather to pray after shootings at New Zealand mosques

KANSAS CITY, Mo -- After an armed man shot and killed dozens of people at two mosques in New Zealand, it's shaken the Muslim community here in Kansas City.

On Friday, many offered prayers for brothers and sisters halfway around the world during a prayer service at the Masjidu Nuur Islamic Community Center in Kansas City.

"When the gunman went into the mosque and he shoot everybody, there was a lady who was asking for his mercy and he shot her in the head," said one member of the mosque. “The amount of hate that showed me is just mind boggling."

Many Muslim American organizations are urging mosques to increase security, but neither the Islamic Center of Greater Kansas City nor the Masjidu Nuur Center did during Friday's prayer service.

"We feel part of the community here,” a member of the Kansas City center said. “We have no fear even though it can happen to anybody. It can happen to the Jewish community. It happen to the Christians. It is not something to (just) the Muslims.”

Special guest City Councilman Quinton Lucas attended Friday's prayer service.

"As a community we just have to understand each other, appreciate each other, maybe come to the place of mosque and see what this is all about," he said.

Several Jewish organizations issued a joint statement regarding the horrific attacks in New Zealand. It read in part:

"The Jewish community stands shoulder to shoulder with the Muslim community against Islamophobia and all forms of hatred. We stand together for coexistence and unity, toward a future in which no one is targeted by this devastating hatred."

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