RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Houses of worship in the Triangle said they are continuing to boost security in light of recent Islamophobia and anti-Semitism cases on the rise, and without any federal assistance, that is quickly depleting their financial resources.
At the Islamic Association of Raleigh, whether it's off-duty officers or having some of their members volunteer, staying safe is quickly taking a lot of time and money.
" This is the prayer hall, we do have a gym in the back too," security director Jamil Qurneh said.
The building is a hub for the community from prayer to play and everything in between. And the head of security worries lately it's also become a target.
"In my opinion, we're waiting for something bad to happen and go ahead and react," Qurneh said.
They said in a post-9/11 world, Islamophobia has always been an issue, but in recent weeks given the Israel-Hamas war, the risk has been even greater.
Just this week Governor Roy Cooper joined other states in calling for more funding from Congress to allow emergency grants for house of worship for security. However, faith leaders said in practice those grants can take time, and the situation is urgent.
"We live by donations, we're a non-profit organization so to put that much money in security-- we have to we're not gonna wait until something bad happens we have to be proactive," Qurneh said.
At the Islamic Center alone they're already spending $45 an hour on off-duty Raleigh Police security, sometimes 7 days a week, adding up to around $3,000 every week.
"Hundreds of thousands a year, yeah it's a lot of money," Qurneh said.
Security is now by far the largest portion of the organization's budget. It is money that now can't go to their religious or community programs.
"Like I said, whether it's a synagogue or a church or a mosque we need help and we need it now," Qurneh said.