LOS ANGELES (CBSLA)  — In just the past two months, the world has witnessed mass murder at a mosque in New Zealand and arson at a mosque in our backyard. A gunman opened fire at a synagogue in Poway. Black churches were burned by white supremacists.

Hate has been on the rise — and many of the targets are houses of worship.

CBS2’s Greg Mills reports that mosques in our area have gone on high alert.

“We will be more vigilant, more cautious during our prayers,” says Imam Ibrahim Qureshi of the Islamic Center in Northridge.

This is an important time for those of the Islamic faith. The 30 days of Ramadan are just beginning.

“It’s a month where we try to be better versions of ourselves. Both mentally, spiritually and physically,” says Qureshi.

The holiday begins under the dark cloud of their fellow worshipers who share their faith and those of other faiths.

Imam Quereshi has talked about what he called people who are isolated and have murder in mind.

“They are trying to create more divide, hatred, fear but it’s bringing us more closely together.” Qureshi says.

The Islamic Center has been also reaching out to synagogues, churches and the community hosting open houses — so people can see how they worship.

They’ve taken steps deemed necessary in 2019.

“Most mosques have stepped up their security, especially the month of Ramadan,” he says, “Some mosques are actually having armed guards throughout the entire month.”

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