Texoma mosque feels impact from New Zealand shooting

DENISON, Tex. (KXII)-- While yesterday's mosque shooting happened in New Zealand, its impact was felt locally in Texoma.

"At our Friday prayer we all stood up and prayed for them, there is a special prayer for the dead people."

What was supposed to be a day of peaceful worship in two New Zealand mosque's turned into a nightmare leaving 49 people dead.

On the other side of the globe, one mosque in Denison felt the impact, and after praying for the victims, members prayed for someone else.

"Also forgive the guy who did this and maybe he will learn maybe he will inform others about the religion of Islam."

Farouk Hariri is the imam at the Islamic Center at Texoma and has lived in Texoma for decades.

He remembers one incident in the 1990's when someone threw a molotv cocktail into their mosque. Nobody was hurt in that incident, members felt no resentment and continued to embrace their community.

"We are just the part of the community, and we live our happy lives just like anyone else, our kids go to the same school as the rest of the kids," said Sana Ullah, a member of the mosque.

"What motivates me is our religion, religion of peace like brother Sana said, and propagate that, inform people about it," said Hariri.

A Pottsboro man also stopped by the mosque to show he supports the Muslim community.

"They're perfectly welcome in my community as far as I'm concerned," said Vince Baker.

A meeting will soon be held at the mosque to decide if they will take any steps to add security.

But for now they will continue to live their lives without fear.

"I cannot punish him, all I can do is inform him, his punishment will be with the Lord."