Friday, March 15, 2019

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Security heightened at area houses of worship follow New Zealand mosque attacks

WAPPINGERS FALLS – Community leaders and public officials in the Hudson Valley are condemning the murders of 49 worshipers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Saba Ali, the vice president of the Mid-Hudson Islamic Association in Wappingers Falls said there is a “sense of fear” since the attacks, but she said Dutchess County Sheriff’s officials came to their offices on Friday to offer their support, which provided a sense of safety and comfort.

While there is so much violence against Muslims, Jews and people of color, Ali said in the Hudson Valley, there is so much good happening.

“If we were to focus on the negative, we would never leave our houses. But we focus on the people, the community, the sense of love and the sense that we are one humanity,” she said. “We have different faiths and different believes but we want the best for each other and we want to think the best for each other as well.”

Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro said the county and its residents stand with Muslims locally and around the world. “In the shadow of this violence, we reaffirm our desire for a world free of hatred and division, one in which people of every faith peacefully coexist and prosper.”

Westchester County Executive George Latimer has ordered the county police to increase patrols and communication with mosques, synagogues and churches across the county. “We must remember there is no room for hate and violence, of any kind against any group, here in Westchester.”

Rockland County Executive Edwin Day also condemned the killings. “An attack on anyone because of their religion is an attack upon all of us regardless of religion.

Sheriff Louis Falco said he has placed his office on heightened alert status as a result of the attacks. He has increased resources on road patrols at all houses of worship in Rockland.

“There is no place for hate and discrimination anywhere in the world and we have to attack it on all fronts with love and humility,” said Rockland Human Rights Commissioner Constance Frazier.


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