ANAHEIM (CBSLA) — Police in Anaheim stood guard outside the Islamic Institute of Orange County on Friday evening.
Friday evening prayers were held in tandem with an interfaith vigil.
The shooting rampage at two mosques in New Zealand were also carried out during Friday evening prayers.
The vigil was a reminder — hate isn’t half a world away.
Just ask college students Noor Said and Zahra Noor.
“I have family members who experience hate on a daily basis at school. I have a cousin – we were just talking about this the other day – about how he was being called a terrorist. I think that is just so insane,” says Zaha Noor, a congregation member.
At nearby Chapman University, an interfaith gathering was also held this evening to condemn the massacre in New Zealand.
Educators say hate groups have been on the rise in places like Huntington Beach and Riverside.
“We have seen according to the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center that there has been an increase in white supremacist events. White nationalist events,” says Rabbi Corie Yutkin, a Chapman University chaplain.
Back at the mosque, the imam says the perception of Islam is often tied to whether or not a person knows a Muslim.
“I invite people to come visit our mosque. We have tours. We have information sessions,” says Mustafa Umar of the Islamic Institute of Orange County.
The mastermind of the New Zealand massacre live streamed his rampage which CBS2/KCAL9 has chosen to not show.
Noor Said believes the attack was launched to strike fear and divide people of different backgrounds.
“There’s so much hate. And there’s so much fear in the world. There’s so much. So the least we can do is, and something we will do is continue to spread the love and the light,” says Noor.