The leader of a local Islamic Center says his congregation has faith in the American people. Amid recent tragedy in Canada, area worship centers have reached out to Imam Adam Fofana to offer support and prayer.
An attack on a mosque in Quebec City on Sunday evening left six people dead and five seriously injured. Alexandre Bissonnette, a college student with known extremist views, has been charged with the crimes.
The Islamic Center of Middle Georgia in Centerville has received no threats and has no reason to be concerned for the safety of its members, Fofana said.
“We are OK. We have faith in God. We have faith in the constitution of America. We have faith in our American people,” he said.
The congregation has great neighbors and friends and strong partnerships with elected leaders and emergency officials in the community, he said.
“The mosque attack in Canada is alarming,” he said. “What we see in Canada is an individual hiding in society. It’s not what the majority believe, but some extremists hiding (and then) causing other people pain. It is very sad. We offer our condolences to the families and the people who have lost people in the attack.”
The Islamic Center is praying for the United States and for the outgoing and incoming presidential administration. Everyone wants terrorists to be eliminated from society, and President Donald Trump’s travel ban is intended to protect America, Fofana said.
But innocent people will be impacted, he said, as they are kept from visiting relatives or coming to America for school or medical treatment. Trump’s executive order blocks immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
“Muslims are here to live with you in peace, in harmony, in security. We care as much for our community as much as any American,” Fofana said. “Together we stand. If we are divided, then we fail. It’s one America.”
The members of the Islamic Center of Central Georgia are a mix of local residents and immigrants, he said. They have not been directly affected by the travel ban so far, but they could be in the future if the ruling remains.