THE Muslim community in Oxford have said they want the government and police to do more to help them feel safe after the horrific New Zealand mosque shooting.

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Community leaders are specifically calling for more funding to be given to police to increase security at places of worship.

Faisal Aziz of the Oxford Central Mosque committee said that although the mosque was self-funded, it could only do so much to keep worshippers secure.

Read again: Nazi graffiti referencing New Zealand shooting sprayed at Oxford school

He said: "The police have said that funding is finite due to this time of austerity that we are in.

"We have every faith in our community, and we are used to being self-funded, but in times like this we need help from the government and the police to help us feel safe.

The Oxford Times:

“Everyone has the right to worship without fear.”

After a public meeting this week with Thames Valley Police, Mr Aziz said the force was assigning two PCSOs to help keep watch in the area around mosque and that if an attack were to happen, their response time could be quicker than the police in the Christchurch attack.

Read again: Oxford holds vigil for New Zealand terror attack victims

However, in the meantime, the mosque is also applying for cash from the government’s Funding for Places of Worship Scheme which has increased its reserve for next year’s places of worship protective security to £1.6m.

The boost comes after the terror attack in Christchurch where 50 people were killed and dozens injured.

Oxford was one of several cities in the UK which this week saw an apparent rise in hate crime following the attack.

The Oxford Times:

Last weekend Nazi graffiti was sprayed on a wall at Cheney School including swastikas and the phrase 'SUB 2 pewdiepie', which was apparently used by the New Zealand shooter during his rampage.

On Monday morning a woman walking through Oxford wearing a hijab said a man made shooting sounds at her from his van.

City councillor Shaista Aziz told the Oxford Mail there was a 'definite anxiety among Muslim communities everywhere'.

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The government's Funding for Places of Worship Scheme aims to safeguard mosques and other places of worship where funding provides physical protective security such as fencing, lighting and CCTV.

A new £5 million fund will also be opened to provide security training.

As well as Friday prayers yesterday, Oxford Central Mosque held prayers in the afternoon specifically to pay respects to the 50 people who died in the attacks.

The Oxford Times:

People who are not Muslim also went to the Mosque to stand in solidarity with the community against Islamophobia and racism.

The idea stemmed from a Facebook post by Oxford resident Claire Brenner which then ‘snowballed’ with huge support from people across the city.

Speaking at the event yesterday, she said: “Racism and bigotry are getting completely out of hand and it’s up to me and the local community to proactively remove it.

"The Muslim community need our help. This was just an idea and then it snowballed and suddenly there was a strength of feeling amongst Oxford.”

Read again: Man 'made shooting sounds at woman wearing hijab'

Ms Brenner’s three-year-old son handed out paper hearts with messages from people who could not attend the meet-up, along with sweets, as people walked into the mosque.

People also handed out flowers to those who attended prayers and the mosque committee provided tea, coffee and biscuits to members of the public.

Mr Aziz said: “The fact that people have given us flowers, and what Claire has done, means people have given up their time which is the most precious commodity that someone can give.

The Oxford Times:

"It’s made us all feel welcome and wanted.”

People from Oxford held signs outside the mosque as others made their way in for prayers.

One of those, Alvira Khan-Gordon, 49, from Oxford, said: "I think it’s very important that people in Oxford and the world stand together.

"People should be able to worship freely no matter what religion or culture they are part of. I want to stand up and protect that freedom."

A vigil was also held at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford last night for people to pay their respects to those who lost their lives in the attack.

Imam Monawar Hussain, of Oxford Central Mosque, said: “We have had lots of messages and support and we’ll get through this difficult time by being calm. We must not panic.”

His statement on behalf of all Oxford mosques says: “Terrorists and those who advocate division, hatred and violence, calculate their actions to create fear, mistrust and communal discord in our communities, society and country.

“We have been particularly moved by those anonymous visitors, who have left beautiful Bouquets of flowers at night or at times, when the mosques have been closed. To all of you, we send our deep gratitude, thanks and love.”