GREENSBORO, N.C. – After a gunman opened fire at two mosques in New Zealand, police have stepped up security at mosques and Islamic centers all around the U.S.
There are heavy security presences in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and in Sterling, Va. All of this, on a Friday, which is the most important day of prayer for Muslims.
While there are no threats against mosques in Greensboro, people attending prayer at the Islamic Center of the Triad are shaken and concerned.
"It's very sad. Very sad. Because these are the people who are most vulnerable," says Wajeh Muhammad, a board member of the Islamic Center of the Triad.
He says unfortunately, no one was surprised.
"This is not something new. No," he said. “Did we expect something like this? Yeah, based on rhetoric.”
The mosque is usually filled with tons of people on Fridays.
"We're going to have 2,000 people at 12:30," says Muhammad.
But when 12:30 came and passed, Muhammad told FOX8 it was low attendance.
"We had a lot of calls this morning, people asking 'is it safe for me to come pray today?'" he said.
Some people, like Sitti Sufa, didn't go on Friday.
"It's really very sad," she says. "We cannot stop from going to Mosque."
She says she's not necessarily scared to go but thinks there needs to be some changes.
"If this kind of thing happens in this country, we need some security then to live here," said Sufa.
But both she and Muhammad believe there needs to be amped up security in this day in age.
"You're not going to come down here, to come to war. You're coming down here to worship and to be close to God," says Muhammad. "To be in peace. Not to think about defending yourself from somebody, not to be killed."
The Islamic Center of the Triad does have cameras and police guarding the door during prayer times, but they are looking into getting metal detectors.