‘Words cannot describe the loss’: Wichita Islamic community reacts to New Zealand attack


A mosque in Wichita increased its security following the deadly shootings that happened in New Zealand on Thursday. 

Worship continued at the Islamic Society of Wichita on Friday. 

Members prayed for the victims and their families.

“I was very shocked, very hurt, very sad,” said Mahmood Karim, a worshiper.

“Words cannot describe the loss,” said Mohammad Awad-Eljied, a member of the mosque.

While continuing to follow their faith, they had an additional prayer for the dozens killed in New Zealand.

“These young men that are doing that, they’re real sick,” said Mustafa Terrell, a maintenance worker for the Islamic Society of Wichita.

Thursday’s terrorist attack has people on edge.

“You always have that on your mind that it could happen here, it could happen any other place,” said Hussam Madi, a spokesperson for the mosque.

Just to be safe, the center made sure to have additional security on Friday. 

“They were inside, outside, around the building, in the parking lot, inside the prayer halls,” said Madi.

And, while precautions are taken, members say they will continue to support victims in New Zealand, putting love above all.

“If we quit coming to pray or continue our daily lives, then we’re letting terrorism, terrorists win,” said Karim.

“We really have to carry on, and we cannot let fear stop us from the way we practice our faith,” said Awad-Eljied.

The Wichita Police Department said the Middle Eastern liaison reached out to the center about being aware of Thursday’s terrorist incident. 

They haven’t received any threats. 

But, the department did check the area as a precaution. 

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