49 are dead and at least 20 others are injured after a shooting at a mosque in New Zealand and local leaders are speaking out.
An Australian National is charged with murder after the brutal attacks and one local Muslim leader says the senseless acts are driven from hate.
The gunman live streamed his attack.
Seen in the video are rifles bedecked with myriad symbols used by white supremacist online.
Local Islamic leaders are calling this an act of terror.
“There is Islamophobia which is just fear and hatred of Muslims and you know that reality comes just kind of rushing in this morning was just pretty heartbreaking,” said Okolo Rashid the President and Director of the Islamic Thought Institute.
Rashid says the attack in New Zealand shows something like this could happen anywhere and much of the hatred towards Muslims is rooted in America.
“For religious people to kill one life is like killing a whole people that’s how serious it is,” said Rashid. “So the reason why we say that is because life is really one that we have to come to understand that there’s not superior human being over another.”
For 18 years she has been a part of the International Museum of Muslim Cultures in Jackson.
Rashid maintains the attack today is an attack on all people.
“It’s heartbreaking heart wrenching when you know that innocent lives are being wiped out for no reason other than you know some form of fear, hate we call it Islamophobia,” she said.
According to Rashid, the tenents of Islam is one God and one humanity and not hate— treating everyone equally.
The city of Jackson has proclaimed April as Islamic Heritage Month.