Community steps in to help safety at Dunedin mosque – Morning Report

Community steps in to help safety at Dunedin mosque - Morning Report

Otago Muslim Assoc president Mohammed Rizwan:
"Since the incident obviously there was a
big concern in terms of our emergency exits – obviously we do not have any,
we just got one main entry this in and out of this place here and at the back
we don't have any emergency exits so Otago Polytechnic actually
approached us and offered to help us out with the emergency fire exits for us.
So the plan was to install another exit door just to my right over here and
also upgrade all the other doors that's around the mosque, but in future once
that work is done, our next plan is to redevelop the mosque because obviously
space is an issue as well. And the plan is at the moment the current plan is to
put another floor on top and on that side where there's morning sunlight – put it all the way to the top so that to create more space as well, otherwise at
the moment when you come in for the big events – even for Friday prayers
anything like that – people are packed in but if we have… even for Sunday
school because we have our Sunday schools here as well and there's a lot
of kids like you know about 150-odd kids in different classes as well so they
don't have you know here as well so once we have their space available up there
then there would be helpful for them as well. – Someone has stepped up and helped in regards to CCTV is that correct?
Mohammed: Yes, a really good Samaritan from the community has actually stepped up and he
actually approached me through someone else straight after the incident and
then we had a chat over there and he said oh how can he help us practicality
wise and then we had a discussion and then we came up with – how about
CCTV surveillance? And he said that you know he can he can help with that he
knows someone and yeah he did, so straightaway on the same day he gave me
a call he said 'oh no I can get that done for you' and then I asked him
because you don't know about the cost or anything like that – labour, materials
– all donated… So we've got a really good service
top-of-the-line surveillance system put up, watching us from everywhere so
you cannot hide in this mosque inside or outside, it's eyes everywhere,
it's really good and we're quite thankful for that. We feel included
whether it's something… obviously you know as a Muslim you feel
like a minority in this country and with what's been
going on around the world, Muslims have been given a bad name as you know
terrorist… But the fact that the first thing is
– the support we got after the incident was
really awesome you know and I was like 'oh wow' getting so much support,
and the fact that people have stepped up and they've come up and
they've got no link with with the mosque at all and they're coming
up and saying oh no we want to help out and these sort of actions actually
make us feel safe, that you know we're part of one community,
one big community and not just one minority community, so it's been really good."

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