Local Muslim community reacts to shootings in New Zealand

Dr. Gohar Salam of the Universal Education Foundation Islamic Center said prayer services at mosques are meant for peace and reflection.

Posted: Mar 16, 2019 6:58 PM
Updated: Mar 18, 2019 6:26 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - In the wake of the deadly mosque shootings that have now left 50 people dead and 50 others hurt, the local Muslim community says their hearts are broken. 

Dr. Gohar Salam of the Universal Education Foundation Islamic Center said prayer services at mosques are meant for peace and reflection. When he heard the news that several of his Muslim brothers were gunned down, he was shocked. 

"We were all deeply saddened and shocked by this, what we consider, a terrorist attack on innocent people who were just walking into a place of worship," he said. "Whether those are Muslims or Jews or Christians, any time you are targeting someone based on faith, or even race, or culture, that, unfortunately, is very, deeply shocking to us."

But Salam said violence aimed at Muslims and immigrants is nothing new. That's why many mosques have amped up security over the past few years, and Salam hopes Mayor Tom Henry increases patrols locally. 

"We have done our best, but particularly at this time, when there is a much more heightened awareness, we are recommending that there should be security that is beefed up even more," he said. 

Salam believes the acts of violence on Muslims are due to the misconception of Islam. 

"I believe sometimes, particularly with the recent incidences that have happened overseas where some of the people who claim to be Muslims, they have essentially hijacked the religion, and did some really bad things in the name of Islam, which is a very peaceful religion. Unfortunately, that has triggered this wave of Islamophobia we are seeing," he said. 

Now, he hopes people of all faiths can come together in a time of tragedy. 

"Once we are sitting dark in a corner, not realizing that this other faith, whether that would be Islam or or Christianity or Judaism, they're all talking about spreading peace and just worshipping this one, wonderful being."

Salam said he's grateful to the churches throughout Fort Wayne who have reached out to the Muslim community. 

The UEF is now planning a prayer service Sunday at 7:00 p.m. at 2223 Goshen Road. Salam said people of all faiths are encouraged to attend. 

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 48201

Reported Deaths: 2693
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11624683
Lake5146242
Elkhart328546
Allen2762129
St. Joseph194366
Cass16389
Hamilton1552101
Hendricks1403100
Johnson1278118
Porter72837
Tippecanoe7158
Madison65864
Clark65144
Bartholomew58544
Howard57557
LaPorte57326
Kosciusko5464
Vanderburgh5226
Marshall4924
Noble47828
Jackson4703
LaGrange4708
Hancock44835
Boone44243
Delaware44250
Shelby42525
Floyd37944
Morgan32931
Grant29426
Monroe29428
Montgomery29420
Clinton2892
Dubois2736
Henry26315
White26310
Decatur25032
Lawrence24425
Dearborn23623
Vigo2348
Warrick21429
Harrison21322
Unassigned193193
Greene18832
Miami1822
Jennings17611
Putnam1698
DeKalb1624
Scott1607
Daviess14317
Wayne1386
Orange13623
Steuben1292
Perry1279
Franklin1248
Jasper1212
Ripley1167
Wabash1122
Carroll1102
Fayette997
Newton9810
Starke933
Whitley925
Huntington812
Gibson802
Randolph794
Jefferson722
Wells721
Fulton701
Jay680
Washington671
Knox640
Pulaski641
Clay604
Rush583
Adams501
Benton480
Owen471
Sullivan441
Brown391
Posey390
Spencer381
Blackford372
Crawford320
Tipton321
Fountain312
Switzerland270
Parke230
Martin220
Ohio170
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike110

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 57150

Reported Deaths: 2911
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin10271422
Cuyahoga7724373
Hamilton5924197
Marion273238
Lucas2723302
Pickaway219141
Summit2131206
Montgomery198126
Mahoning1825232
Butler157644
Columbiana130360
Stark1107112
Lorain102167
Trumbull93965
Warren83921
Clark7659
Delaware56815
Fairfield55916
Tuscarawas55210
Belmont54622
Medina51632
Lake49718
Licking47712
Miami46331
Portage44058
Ashtabula43344
Wood42151
Geauga40542
Clermont4006
Wayne36251
Richland3375
Allen31540
Mercer2818
Greene2519
Darke24825
Erie24222
Holmes2313
Huron2152
Madison1958
Ottawa14323
Crawford1355
Sandusky13414
Washington13220
Putnam12815
Ross1243
Hardin12312
Morrow1161
Auglaize1064
Coshocton972
Monroe8917
Jefferson872
Union851
Muskingum831
Hancock781
Hocking788
Preble731
Guernsey703
Lawrence700
Williams702
Clinton680
Shelby684
Logan621
Fulton610
Ashland591
Carroll593
Wyandot586
Athens561
Brown561
Knox511
Defiance503
Fayette460
Highland451
Champaign401
Scioto380
Perry341
Van Wert340
Seneca332
Henry290
Jackson230
Paulding230
Pike230
Adams221
Vinton222
Gallia171
Harrison121
Meigs120
Morgan110
Noble110
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 78°
Angola
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 73°
Huntington
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 74°
Decatur
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 75°
Van Wert
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 75°
Heat Continues Monday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events