After terror attack, QC mosques step up security, receive local support


Mosques on both sides of the river will have heightened security at least through the weekend. 

That’s after Thursday night’s terrorist attack in New Zealand that left dozens dead. 

A suspect targeted two mosques during Friday prayers, killing 49 and injuring dozens more. 

The suspect had posted an 87-page manifesto online with anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric.

Many Muslims in the Quad Cities are mourning, but say they’re not letting fear get in the way of unity.

“Oh my god, it was really, really shocking,” says Tabinda Cheema, a Quad Cities worshipper for 15 years.

She is part of a Muslim community reeling from the massive terrorist attack in New Zealand. 

“Even though it happened in Christchurch, New Zealand, it doesn’t really matter, it hits home because every Friday prayer in a mosque is just the same,” says Matlub Ahmed, a board member of the Islamic Center of the Quad Cities in Moline.

The massacre happened on the eve of Friday prayers here at home. 

“The whole community I knew would be totally full of anxiety,” Ahmed says.There are about a thousand worshippers on both sides of the river.

Cheema says she had some fear, but it didn’t stop her from coming to the mosque on Friday with her kids.

“I was scared about safety, I was thinking, I was talking to my kids and other people,” says Cheema, who attends The Muslim Community of the Quad Cities. 

Members at both mosques have contacted local police as a precaution through weekend activities.

“They have reassured us that they’re going to increase patrol in this area,” Ahmed says.

He says the support from neighbors has been reassuring. 

“People even on the phone kept me listening to prayers that they’re offering on the phone. We are touched by this,” says Ahmed.

For many, the message, moving forward, is clear.

“With tragedies, If one can learn something, should be the fact that only love should come out. Blood does not wash blood,” says Syed Haque, an attendee in Bettendorf.

“Whatever Hindu, whatever Christian, Jews. We have a common thing: Love and peace,” echoes Cheema.

A vigil will be held at the Islamic Center of Moline on 34th Avenue on Sunday at 5:00 p.m.

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