GROTON, Conn. (WTNH) — Among those watching the horror unfold in California were members of Connecticut’s Muslim community and some feel they need to stress that is not who they are.
Song, sermon, and prayer fill the mosque in Groton. Friday is a day of community prayer.
The Islam Center of New London invited News8 to observe the service and learn more about the Muslim religion.
“According to our faith that is wrong and that it should be stopped and condemned absolutely,” says Imam Mahmoud Mansour.
He was saddened by the senseless murders of innocent people in San Bernardino, California. The fact a Muslim couple is responsible adds concern. Some fear the actions of extremists fuel Islamaphobia.
“Unfortunately what happens a lot of time when a Muslim happened to do that it’s like everybody has to worry about basically what is going to happen to me when I have nothing to do with that person,” says Mansour.
“I feel a great deal of anxiety for my Muslim friends and what they must be going through and experiencing,” says Pastor Steve Jungkeit of the First Congregatoinal Church of Old Lyme.
He feels Muslims should be given the same respect Christians are accorded.
“Every time there’s a shooting say in the south by a white supremacist or something like that nobody worries about whether or not Christians are a violent people as a whole,” says Jungkeit. “So I feel the same courtesy should be extended to Muslims as well.”
“We’re going to live, we’re going to stay here, we are part of this society and we believe that there is a law and there are a lot of wise people here in this country,” says Mansour.
Mansour says some have expressed concern about coming to the mosque but that is not going to stop them from holding their community prayer each week.