Upstate Muslim community reacts to horrific mosque shooting in New Zealand

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The brutal attack on two mosques in New Zeland has left Muslim communities around the world devastated.

7News spoke with one of the largest Muslim communities in the Upstate, as they urge us all to do our part in combating the message of hate.

Fareeha Qazi is a mother, a middle school teacher and an Upstate resident of 14 years.  But she has seen the looks of people who view her head scarf, and only see her in one dimention.  

She said the unspeakable violence in New Zealand has been a reminder of the vulnerability she feels as a Muslim.

“I’m just horrified, terrified. The first emotion is always, not again, enough is enough,” said Qazi, who is also the President of the Sisters Committee of Islamic Society of Greenville.  

Data from institutions like the University of Maryland’s “Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism” shows Muslims are the most likely victims of terrorism worldwide.

“We need to stop propagating the message of hate,” said Qazi.

She said if there is one thing that South Carolina, and it’s history of the Charleston Church Shooting, has in common with the families suffering in New Zealand, it’s the pain of knowing worshipers were killed on our soil by racists.

“All these people are all extremist no matter what religion they belong to they are an enemy of humanity,” she said.  

The New Zealand shooter’s manifesto reportedly showed Dylan Roof’s AME Church shooting inspired him.

Former 7News Anchor Carrie Davis now lives in New Zealand and said life there will be forever changed.

“I think people are in shock this morning because we just all thought it couldn’t happen here, it wouldn’t happen here,” said Davis.

The afternoon prayer at the Islamic Society in Greer was widely attended Friday and extra security was on hand.

“We need to stop giving voice to the shy haters telling them its OK to hate, it’s not OK to hate,” said Qazi.

The killer used Facebook Live to broadcast the shooting and we have chosen not to air the more brutal parts of the video he took inside the Mosque.

Facebook, Youtube and Twitter are working to remove any copies of the video still circulating online.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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