MERIDEN – A community no stranger to hate crimes is reacting to the latest deadly attack in London.
One man died and 10 people were injured after a van was rammed into a crowd of worshippers near a mosque in north London, in the latest terror attack to hit the UK this year.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is speaking out saying it condemns these attacks.
The group is responding in prayer, especially during Ramadan, one of the holiest months observed by Muslims.
“We’re not going to let terrorists scare us from practicing our faith or coming to our mosque,” Outreach and Holy Quran Education Director Zahir Mannan said.
Mannan said members will continue to spend late nights in prayer at the mosque during the holy month.
The Baitul Aman "House of Peace" Mosque in Meriden has ramped up security since it was targeted in 2015. The mosque was riddled with bullets by a neighbor in November.
Mannan said they’ve created a strong relationship with the FBI and Meriden Police. An officer stops by the mosque for check-ins regularly. On top of that, the building is armed with surveillance cameras and internal security.
“Islamophobia is real and it's something that we need to pick up our game with in terms of security in terms of each other's safety,” Mannan said. “We have to fight for each other’s lives we have to defend each other protect each other.”
Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community have since befriended the man responsible for targeting it and shooting at it.
“We’re gonna come together in solidarity and our love will overpower their hate,” Mannan said. “One of the best ways to prevent this from happening is dialogue, coming together to talk to one another.”
Every Friday night at 8 p.m. the Baitul Aman “House of Peace” Mosque opens its doors for, “Coffee, Cake and True Islam.” It’s a free event for the public to, “Ask questions, get answers and learn.”