The Albany Police Department is joining Governor Andrew Cuomo's calls to enhance security for places of worship after a terror attack at a pair of mosques in New Zealand.
The founder of a mosque in Albany, Shamshad Ahmad, says it’s a sad day for his faith, but now there needs to be change.
“All the work which is needed in the society to build up a good relationship is in place. But one individual, crazy, can smash and demolish the whole thing,” Ahmad said.
Even with enhanced police outside, Ahmad said it’s a feeling of hatred that is all too familiar for those who worship at the house of peace in Albany.
“Every day, some mosques are being vandalized,” Ahmad said.
He heard of the attack within minutes because of social media. The horror was live streamed and since then internet giants have had trouble keeping it off their sites.
Victor Asal, a political science professor at UAlbany with a focus in discrimination and violence, says to an extent it is like a game of whack-a-mole.
“Even when they’re trying, things keep popping up and popping up,” Asal said.
Asal says what the internet does is connect people who share the same hatred.
“The web has facilitated much stronger strongholds for these communities of conspiracy where hatred can fester,” the professor said.
He added that there is a clear pattern of those perpetrating these attacks that needs to be addressed.
“Right now, the [large] amount of people getting killed [in the] last several years [were] by right-wing nationalist extremists, and that’s what we [should] focus on,” Asal said.