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Islamic community rallies together in wake of New Zealand shooting

BRIDGEPORT-- The Islamic community and other faith-based organizations here in Connecticut are rallying together after the New Zealand mass shooting were 49 people were killed at Christchurch.

Wajid Ahmed like many others in the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Meriden woke up and saw the violence that erupted in New Zealand.

U.S Congressmen Jim Himes in a Bridgeport news conference said, “None of this is okay, we never respond to an attack of a group on one people and say well there is this tax on another. An attack on anybody of their religion or their values or their skin color or anything is intolerable.”

Other leaders across the U.S. also reacted to the mass shooting.

President Trump tweeted his warmest sympathy where he says there was no need for senseless violence.

In Connecticut, state senator Saud Anwar condemned what he called an “act of hate” saying an attack on one faith is an attack on every faith advocating the promotion of protection in places of worship.

Wajid Ahmed said, “New Zealand is such a tolerant and peaceful country, now with this attack, if it can happen there it can happen anywhere like here in Connecticut.”

In 2015, Ahmed’s mosque in Meriden was shot at by Ted Hackey who served several months in prison.

In the years that followed, Hackey apologized and became an advocate for the local Muslim community.

Ahmed says once the dust settles an open dialogue needs to start and the only way to spread love to others is by first loving ourselves.

Ahmed said, “That’s the most important war, that’s the most important thing and that’s being at peace within yourself first, having that inner most peace with the people you are working with,  live with your wife, you know with your kids.”

Ahmed says as he and his community spread their message of love and tolerance more security measures will be put into place to assure the safety of everyone.

Leaders in the Connecticut Faith-based Community will host a peace symposium March 27th in Hartford.

The symposium will be held at the capitol room 310 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

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