PHOENIX — A heightened police presence was seen at multiple mosques in the Valley as some attended worship services Friday.
Phoenix police sent out extra officers to the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix, where services took place at 1 p.m. Fridays are the main worshiping days for those who attend the mosque.
“This is something that’s really tragic, that you see police presence in front of houses of worship,” said Usama Shami, president of the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix. “But unfortunately, these are the times that we live in,” he added.
Other religious leaders from around the Valley attended the worship service as a show of support.
“I simply wanted to be here to say: Our hearts are also breaking. We are with you, and if there’s any support that we can give, we want you to know that we, as your neighbors, are here,” said Pastor Stephen Govet from Trinity United Methodist Church in Phoenix.
Some also brought flowers and notes as a gesture of support for the Muslim community.
Tempe police also say they had additional officers at the Tempe Mosque near ASU’s main campus.
Unfortunately, Shami says every time there’s an attack at a religious sanctuary, uncertainty grows at his mosque.
“Every time something like this happens, it scares people from attending services,” he said.
It’s why he’s sending a message of faith over fear.
“So the message is that we always tell our community is if you don’t attend, then they [terrorists] achieve the goal that they do these acts,” Shami said.