An Islamic leader in Tyler condemns New Zealand attack: May God ‘not show us such horror’

By Jeff Wrightand Jeff Chavez| March 15, 2019 at 4:25 PM CDT – Updated March 15 at 6:48 PM

TYLER, TX (KLTV) – A leader in the Islamic community of Tyler has condemned the deadly attack on two mosques in New Zealand, calling the shooting “disheartening,”

Anwar Khalifa, spokesman for the East Texas Islamic Society, spoke about Friday’s attack with remorse for what happened, but focused his attention more on the victims rather than the shooter’s actions.

“We pray for those who lost their lives, we pray for those who survived, that God give them patience and be with them through this very tough time,” Khalifa said.

As of Friday, at least 49 people died after a gunman carried out targeted attacks at two mosques in Christchurch. Although the attack garnered much media attention throughout the day, Khalifa pointed out the attack was only one of many tragic events targeting Muslims worldwide.

“You look and see what’s happening in Burma and Kashmir, to whole Muslim populations, whether they’re being slaughtered or burned,” he explained. “We just constantly keep those people in our prayers, and pray that God have mercy on us here and not show us such horror.”

Khalifa added that while events like the one in Christchurch often cannot be avoided, the East Texas Islamic Society often reminds their worshipers to be prepared no matter what.

“We have for a long time encouraged our people to get their license to carry, and to carry when they come to the mosque,” Khalifa said. “We do encourage that.”

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