Wichita Muslim community shares message of hope for peace after New Zealand mosque attacks

WICHITA, Kan. Though shaken by this week's attacks on two mosques in New Zealand , the Wichita Muslim community is among those choosing to convey a message of peace and hope instead of anger.

The community says despite the tragedy that can hit close to home--even though it happened nearly 8,000 miles away-- there is hope to bring peace in a dark place.

Leaders in Wichita's Muslim community say prayer is needed more than ever when tragedies like what occurred in Christchurch happen. They say it's not just the wider Muslim community that suffers, but all of humanity.

Wichita Muslim community member Anwar Chowdhury says family friend Dr. Abdus Samad was among the 49 people killed in Christchurch.

Chowdhury says Dr. Samad was a professor in New Zealand and pursuing his PHD at Lincoln University in Christchurch. He says many people followed Samad, a friend of his father.

"This is a man of great intellectual capacity," Chowdhury says. "He went on from very humble beginnings to go on to be a professor. "It's been almost 25 years that he's been in that country. He's a man of faith, a man of service and a man of the community."

Despite the tragedy, Chowdhury says he believes Dr. Samad would focus on what connects humanity.

"Let us not lose faith in our common goodness. That's what he would've wanted, I'm sure," Chowdhury says.