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Colorado Springs mosque shares message of unity following New Zealand attack

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - With many mosques across the state enforcing stricter security, one in Colorado Springs does as well, but it's also sharing a message of unity.

Within 24 hours of the New Zealand mosque shooting, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern vowed to strengthen the country's gun laws.

For a community in grief and pain, Thursday evening centered around about prayer.

"We pray for the people who were attacked," said Arshad Yousufi, with the Islamic Society of Colorado Springs.

They honor the 50 lives lost -- Kamel Elwazier's brothers and sisters. Elwazier is the president of the Islamic Society of Colorado Springs.

"The Quran teaches us that if someone mistreats you, that the better approach would be to treat them well and to treat them with kindness," he said.

While it's easy to focus on the senseless violence, the community chooses to come out stronger.

"It's a sad occasion but on the other hand I'd like to see it as an opportunity for us to bridge the gap," Elwazier said.

The attacks have sparked an increase in faith and hope that the violence will one day end. However, until then Yousufi says the mosque has had to increase security.

"CSPD, the police have been quite supportive appointing us an officer for our last Friday service, which was very reassuring to our congregation," he said.

Even in Colorado Springs, the mosque has received threats in the past.

"We have, in the past, gotten a few voicemails," Elwazier said.

But in recent days, he says the community has stood behind them with flowers and hand-written notes, showing them that love and kindness still exists.


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