Louisville Muslims

Saturday afternoon, dozens prayed at the Muslim Community Center of Louisville. (WDRB Photo)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- As dozens prayed at the Muslim Community Center of Louisville, some minds couldn't help but wander.

"This attack is every Muslim's worst nightmare come true," one of the speakers told the large crowd.

"New Zealand was one of the safest countries on Earth, so if that can happen in New Zealand, it can happen anywhere," another added.

Some of the Muslims in attendance, like Ahmet Yesil, couldn't help but wonder "what if," just a day after the massacre in New Zealand.

"It could be me too," he said. "I go to mosque every Friday, so I put myself in their shoes, you know, what they went through, you know, in their last moments while, you know, they were praying to God."

For Yesil, images of the dead seem almost familiar.

"I mean, they're just regular, you know, people like you and me. And when I looked, you know, at their picture, they looked like the people I see every Friday at mosque," Yesil said.

But as he and others prayed, they did so with some added comfort:  there are members of other faiths here this time and Louisville's police chief too.

"I would argue that we have more in common than we do in terms of differences. And I would argue that we need to be more tolerant of one another," Chief Steve Conrad told them. "No matter how we look, no matter how we dress, no matter what we believe, and no matter what we pray, we are all one."

To Yesil and the others, that felt good and so did what happened before entering the mosque. He and others held signs and waved to passing drivers on Old Westport Road. Most of the passers-by honked. Some even stopped to offer their support.

"It shows that people care," said Yesil. "It showed that I'm in the right place in the right city."

It showed Yesil bad sometimes brings out good.

"Their deaths meant something. Hopefully, you know, God is going to, you know, take them into heaven," he said.

Meanwhile, Chief Conrad said he's asked his men and women to step up patrols at mosques across Louisville.

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