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Grief and Condolences for Victims of New Zealand Masjid Attacks - How You Can Help

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Posted on Mar 15, 2019
Dilshad Ali

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Our hearts are hurting.

Our communities are hurting. 

Humanity is hurting.

Kneeling in prayer

As we try and process news of the terrorist attack and mass shootings at two masajid during Jummah (Friday) prayers in Christchurch, New Zealand, it's beyond heartbreaking. Nearly 50 Muslims were gunned down during what should've been the most peaceful part of their day - worship. We are devastated, broken, grief-struck, angry, hurt and so much more.

Like you, we here at Haute Hijab have been sick over this. Mona, our social media specialist, expressed what so many of us are feeling -- worry over going to Friday prayers today. Erin, our merchandising manager, offered to go to prayers with her. Noor, our community manager, spoke of her father, who every morning opens up and oversees a mosque in the community where she lives. And my husband advised me this morning as we readied our children for school that if I was thinking of going to Jummah prayers today, to make sure I go to a different masjid than him - that we should not be at the same one.

We want to express our grief and sadness to the victims and to Muslims and people grieving all over the world. Our hearts go out to the communities at Masjid Al Noor and Linwood Masjid.

The saddest part is that as much of a shock this all is, many of us are not that surprised. That it happened in New Zealand? Yes, that is a shock. That is happened at all? No. That it was at the hands of a man (or more than one person, it's too early to know all the details at this point) who was a self-professed white supremacist is something many have seen coming. The rise of anti-Muslim attacks, Islamophobic rhetoric, anti-immigrant policies and targeting of Muslims around the world has been well documented.

Consider the words of Australian media personality Waleed Aly:

 

In times like these, we think of our children, of how we can process this, process our grief and do something - anything - to support victims, care for our mental health and in the words of poet Thomas Dylan, "rage against the dying of the light." With this in mind, here are some resources for you and places to donate to help the families of the victims.

Donate to these Sites

1. The New Zealand Council of Victim Support Groups has launched a crowdfunding campaign to help victims of the attacks and their families. (This link keeps crashing because so many are trying to donate here, but keep trying.)

2.  LaunchGood's United for Christchurch Mosque Shootings page, will distribute funds to the NZIIC—New Zealand Islamic Information Centre to "help with the immediate, short-term needs of the grieving families."

Resources for Grief and Trauma

1. Being a Muslim family in the time of the Muslim ban - while this is hooked around the Muslim ban, it offers ways to manage fear and anxiety.

2. The Family & Youth Institute toolkit for grief and support.

3. From the Muslim Wellness Foundation - how to cope with community trauma.

As Mona told me earlier today, "Although we may feel shaken, sad and scared in the next coming days, try to remain hopeful and strong for our families, our friends and our children. Remember that this fear is what those individuals want. They want us to be fearful, and they want us to stray away from our deen. Stay strong, stay together, stay vigilant, but don't stray away from the masajid. Don't stray away from how you would normally dress, whether it's in a hijab, or kufi or otherwise. Prophet Muhammad (saw) faced so much adversity and hatred in his time, but he always turned to the only One we could all depend on. He always turned to Allah (S) for strength and guidance. Remember, this isn't the first time we have experienced something like this and it may not be the last, but we can get through this. We can handle it. We will persevere inshAllah."


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