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Police presence at Edmonton mosques after shootings in New Zealand
Published Friday, March 15, 2019 11:58AM MDT
Last Updated Friday, March 15, 2019 6:17PM MDT
A spokesperson for Edmonton police said there will be police presence around the city’s mosques during prayers on Friday.
The move is in response to shootings at two mosques in New Zealand that left 49 people dead.
EPS said they are not aware of any threats at local mosques at this time, but that events like the shooting can impact a community’s perception of safety.
“We have to not be fearful because that's the purpose of these kinds of incidents, but also keep in mind that there is an inspirational aspect to these attacks,” said University of Alberta terror expert John McCoy. “They're speaking to a specific audience; they're trying to inspire a specific audience and pursue a political cause. So we have to be mindful of the ability of international events to inspire locals.”
In addition to police presence, some mosques in Edmonton had their own security volunteers.
“It’s just unbelievably sad, and we’re just on the lookout,” said Fateh Zubaar, a volunteer security member at Al-Hadi mosque in east Edmonton.
Premier Rachel Notley also issued a statement on Friday, offering condolences on behalf of Albertans.
“There is hate in the world but we can never forget that love is stronger,” Notley said in the statement.
“Together, we must continue the fight against racism, hate, intolerance and religious persecution of all forms, including Islamophobia.”