Waking up to the tragic news of the sickening murders of innocent Muslim worshippers during Friday prayers at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand has been and continues to be extremely difficult to bear as more disturbing details of the mass shootings are revealed. Our tears of sorrow and condolences for the victims and their grief-stricken families continue to run freely at the undeniable knowledge that a significant part of us has also died with these lost Muslim brothers and sisters.
It is paradoxical that a Muslim feels most secure and closest to his creator Allah (God the Almighty) when he prostrates in prayer, but the same action is pointedly regarded by cowardly Islamophobes as a most vulnerable moment to unleash allof their hateful intent with its murderous consequences.
Muslims the world over will endure this day, Friday, the holiest of days, touched in the certain knowledge that each one of them and their families could have been in the place of the victims.
The goal of Islamophobes is to divide communities and turn neighbour against neighbour, colleague against colleague, Muslim friend against non-Muslim friend. We ask of you the opposite of hatred and fear. Your neighbour, colleague, friend are not your enemy. Embody this ideal by showing the leadership needed to bring communities even closer together in the face of such outrageous and wanton provocation, and to declare right in the faces of those who promote hate and intolerance under the guise of free speech and editorials, that we shall overcome all of the hateful and vengeful rhetoric through nothing other than a sincere and open heart and dialogue.
However, we must call out the increasing level of hostility to Islam and enmity toward Muslims in public discourse which make attacks such as these increasingly likely. The Islamophobic discourse is real and abiding and one to be taken extremely seriously and expunged in order to preserve innocent lives from being so cruelly and callously snuffed out as this latest atrocity shows.
We ask Allah forgiveness, mercy and acceptance for the dead, and for their families, patience to bear their loss. We sincerely thank the emergency services of the city of Christchurch for their commendable efforts to rescue and preserve the lives of all those affected by this deeply disturbing tragedy.
We ask Muslims everywhere to remain vigilant and to ensure that a security plan is devised for our places of worship for as we know; failing to plan is nothing other than planning to fail.