Multiple LI mosques hire armed guards for Ramadan

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NEW HYDE PARK -

Multiple mosques on Long Island are bolstering security measures for the holy month of Ramadan in the wake of multiple violent attacks at places of worship around the world.

About 10 mosques on the Island have moved to hire armed security guards for Ramadan, including at the Hillside Islamic Center in New Hyde Park.

The move comes in the wake of the horrific shootings that happened at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand back in March, as well as the Easter Sunday bombings at churches in Sri Lanka, and the shooting at a synagogue in California.

The plan is to have the guards in place during prayer services and classes through the month of Ramadan, which starts on Sunday night. The guards could also possibly be in place on high holy days.

News 12 is told the guards are costing around $10,000 at the New Hyde Park center. And the leader of the mosque says there's an emotional toll as well. He says it's heartbreaking that there have to be armed guards on duty during what's supposed to be a peaceful prayer service.

"As a society we have failed ourselves, and we are failing our children," says Abdul Aziz Bhuiyan, of the Hillside Islamic Center. "And that really bothers me more, as the leader of this community. This is something we are doing to our future generations. What are we leaving them with? It really bothers me that even at a place of worship, nobody's safe."

Both the Nassau and Suffolk police departments say they're also stepping up patrols at mosques during the month of Ramadan.

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