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Bloomington Muslim community remember lives lost in Christchurch terror attack

PEORIA, Ill - The mosque shootings in New Zealand are having impacts across the world.

49 people were killed and 20 injured. A 28-year old man has been charged with murder, and two other people are in custody as police try to determine if they're involved..

The attack happened when mosques were full of worshipers. Footage of the massacre was streamed live online, and a rambling manifesto laced with white supremacist references was published just before the shootings unfolded.

The suspect says he was born in Australia, and lists the white nationalists who have inspired him

Heads bowed, eyes closed, and standing in solidarity Friday afternoon in Bloomington. The local Muslim community gathered on their day of worship to remember the nearly 50 lives taken in the New Zealand attack.

“What they were doing yesterday [in New Zealand] is exactly what we were just doing today,” said Bloomington resident Omar Quaddor.

Thursday’s shooting has turned a sacred place a worship, now into a place of fear for some.

“It's shocking that it could happen, you come to the mosque and you don’t even know if you’re going to be exiting dead or alive,” added Quaddor. “I was even scared to come today.”

But Friday, attendee’s faith propelled them to worship more powerful than the fear that could’ve kept them home.

“All Muslims need to stand united against any form of violence,” said Imam Saad Palwala. “An attack on any brother or sister is an attack on every American, regardless of the color, regardless of religion.”

A message that Islamophobia should not, and will not be tolerated rang out from the Islamic Center of McLean County Friday afternoon.

“People have chosen to remain silent and not respond to Islamophobia this must end today,” said Palwala.

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