ATLANTA, GA (CBS46) People attending prayer at mosques in Atlanta say they are concerned, but not afraid to pray following mass shootings at places of worship.

Georgia’s Muslim houses of worship are encouraged to strengthen security, after 49 people were killed in a mass shooting in New Zealand on Friday.

The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations also known as CAIR-Georgia; a Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, is asking the state’s more than 70 mosques to protect themselves.

"As a precaution, we strongly encourage Georgia's Muslim houses of worship to review and strengthen their security measures in the coming days. We also encourage local law enforcement agencies to send at least one patrol car to stand guard at their local masjid during Friday prayer service." said Edward Ahmed Mitchell, executive director of CAIR-Georgia.

Atlanta and Gwinnett Police have said they will be increasing their patrols around mosques in the area.

It was an emotional press conference for these Islamic leaders talking about the bigotry Muslims face on a daily basis.

"Here in our nation, American Muslims have been targeted by hate crimes, death threats, discrimination, and other forms of Islamophobia in recent years. Our political leaders must reject racism, Islamophobia, and xenophobia in both word and deed before the hatred we have seen in Christchurch, Pittsburgh, Charlottesville, and elsewhere, takes impacts anyone else,” said Mitchell.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta released the following statement:

"We are devastated by the senseless hate-filled terror attack targeting two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch. Our Jewish community mourns the tragic loss of 49 innocent lives. We know all too well the price of terrorism, racism and hatred. No person should ever have to fear attending a sacred place of worship. The xenophobia that led to this unspeakable bloodshed must be condemned in no uncertain terms by leaders worldwide and the public-at-large. Hatred and vitriol must have no place to manifest. We cannot allow it to continue to violate the moral and ethical core of our society. Our friends at Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh are leading the charge to help the Muslim community of New Zealand after this horrible attack."

Copyright 2019 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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