Chicago (CBS) — The mosque massacres in New Zealand have spread fears in the Chicago area about more violence, but that didn’t stop hundreds of people of different faiths from attending a vigil in north suburban Morton Grove Saturday.
Organizers said they want to show strength and solidarity in the face of hatred.
“While this New Zealand tragedy may have occurred in another country thousands of miles away, unfortunately hate has no boundaries,” said Dilnaz Waraich of the Muslim Community Center.
People shuffling into the building saw armed security and Morton Grove police.
Kamran Hussain is the president of the Muslim Community Center.
“When something like this happens, you fear there might be some type of copycat,” Hussain said. “Just to ensure our congregants, we wanted to make sure that we have a little bit extra security.”
Waraich and Hussain both said they still feel safe at mosques, despite alleged hate crimes in the Chicago area.
DuPage County prosecutors charged Steven McCuiston with a hate crime earlier this month, after investigators said he told a Lyft driver, “just because you’re a Muslim, I’m going to kill you and snap your neck.”
The Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said last year, a Muslim man found Islamophobic graffiti outside his parents’ Homer Glen home.
“Together we’re so much stronger,” Waraich said. “It’s so important that we collectively have a voice. We grieve together. We are joyous together.”
Vigils are scheduled for Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at Daley Plaza and 2 p.m. at the Turkish Cultural Center in Mount Prospect.