Paterson mosque receives death threats following NYC terror attack

Posted: Updated:
Paterson mosque receives death threats following NYC terror attack Paterson mosque receives death threats following NYC terror attack
PATERSON -

Members of the Islamic Center of Passaic County say the center has been receiving death threats and threatening calls in the wake of a terror attack in New York City earlier this week.

The mosque has received over 11 calls since Tuesday, many of which were death threats. Police are now stationed outside the mosque to protect those attending services, and an investigation is underway.

CEO Omar Awad says that backlash comes after Paterson resident Sayfullo Saipov purposely drove a rented Home Depot truck down a bike path in Manhattan, killing eight people and injuring others.

RELATED: Muslims in NJ city fear another backlash after latest attack

But Awad says that the backlash against his mosque is unwarranted because Saipov was not a member there.

"Why are we getting these calls? This person never congregated here. This person never worshiped here, never attended a service here,” he says.

Investigators say that five of the calls have been made by the same man.

"This person had the audacity to call from his number, to pick up when the police called him back,” Omar says.

Congregants say that they are frustrated because their religion is one of peace and they see these acts of terrorism as a misuse of the Quran.

"I'm not afraid because I'm proud of my religion and I'm proud of what I believe in,” says Fort Lee resident Aseal Nassar. “I'm not going to let a terrorist define my entire religion and I’m not going to let Islamaphobes scare me from my religion."

Leaders say that while they are saddened by the attack, they can't be held responsible for the actions of a sick person. They say they are concerned for their safety and hopeful that the threats end.

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