90.7 WMFE and 89.5 WMFV are Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming and Classical Music. Part of the community since 1965, providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

Central Florida Mosques Tighten Security Ahead of Ramadan

Play Audio

CAIR’S Wilfredo Ruiz says the bombings in Sri Lanka and the shooting at a synagogue in California have only increased the fear of a threat of violence. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

Mosques in Central Florida are tightening security for the first day of Ramadan.

That’s after hate crimes aimed at places of worship have taken place around the world.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) reports more than 100 mosques in Central Florida have requested active shooter training since the attacks in New Zealand.

CAIR’S Wilfredo Ruiz says the bombings in Sri Lanka and the shooting at a synagogue in California have only increased the fear of a threat of violence.

That’s why Ruiz says mosques’ security committees are adding security details and even alarm systems-to protect worshipers during Ramadan.

“The threats are real, are present. The community is aware of it. Unfortunately the political rhetoric that is still being aired by the leadership of the country including the President doesn’t help to appease this discourse of hate that leads to hate crimes.”

Ruiz says security is needed during the Muslim holy month as additional people come to the mosque to pray and break the fast together.

Imam Tariq Rasheed of the Islamic Center of Orlando says security will be increased during evening hours for this reason.

“Personally I hate this idea of providing security at the mosque or for that matter any place of worship. Mosques or places of worship should be a place to come and remember God and complete peace. But unfortunately things are so bad these days that we are forced to take extra precautions.”

Dr. Shakil Ahmed of the American Muslim Community Center in Longwood says police will be checking bags and cars not just during prayers but community events.

“Our message to the larger community is that of love, and peace, and service and brotherhood. We don’t want even the non-Muslims to be uncomfortable when they come. We want them to come and break the fast with us. Have a good time. Just see what the spirit of the holy month for Muslims is.”

The American Muslim Community Center will hold its annual community iftar to encourage interfaith understanding.

The FBI found about 21 percent of hate crimes in 2017 were motivated by a person’s religion. Of these religiously motivated hate crimes, Muslims were the target about 19 percent of the time.

If you’d like to listen to the full story, please click on the clip above.

Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida news, updates on special programs and more.

Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »