Muslims in eastern Carolina mourn following New Zealand shooting

JACKSONVILLE, NC (WITN) The killing of 49 people at two mosques in New Zealand is being felt on the other side of the world, including here in eastern North Carolina.

One woman attending the local service said, "It can happen anywhere, to anyone."

An Imam said, "People, they are peaceful, praying, you just go and shoot them? What kind of a mentality is that?"

Both the religious leader and a woman who attended Friday's prayer service asked to remain anonymous in order to maintain the privacy of their mosque and its members.

Both of them say Friday morning's attack is an attack against the entire Muslim community, including those right here in eastern North Carolina.

The woman said, "I felt an extreme pain for our bothers and sisters in Islam because they're doing what I do today. They're just praying peacefully in their mosque."

The Imam said, "The Islam is a peaceful religion. You just worship God, be nice to your family, be nice to your friend. I mean, the Islam is just like any other religion."

Both people we spoke with said the shooting will not deter them from their faith.

Authorities say the gunman behind at least one of the mosque shootings is an Australian white nationalist who hates immigrants, saying he is a proud racist who was inspired by attacks in Europe that were perpetrated by Muslims.