Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and all those who have been affected by last night’s cowardly attack on innocent worshippers. May God have mercy on them all.
The reports so far have indicated that this attack was based on anti-Muslim hatred. Therefore, we would like to share the following advice on how to respond to this anti-Muslim terrorist attack:
1. The Muslim community must remain calm and patient.
“O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, God is with the patient.” The Qur’an, Chapter 2, Verse 153
2. Hatred must not be responded to with hatred. This is a time to turn hate into love and friendship. This is one of the higher Islamic values:
“And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel evil by that deed which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity will become as though he was a devoted friend.” The Qur’an, Chapter 41, Verse 34
“O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for God , witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness.” The Qur’an, Chapter 5, Verse 8
3. Get involved in sharing the message of Islam with your brothers and sisters in humanity. Compassionately and intelligently conveying Islam to the wider community decreases hatred. Some people have an irrational fear and hatred of Islam and Muslims. Sharing the beauty of Islam turns that hatred into respect, tolerance and many times love.
4. Challenge all forms of otherization. The people who want to create divisions and hatred in our society adopt binary views and negative assumptions about the world, often caricaturing and misrepresenting other people. Otherization is not simply labelling people as belonging to other groups – this is natural part of communal living. Otherization happens when one group illegitimately stigmatises another group and argues reductively that the members of that group are all evil or pose a problem. This warps reasoning, hardens people’s hearts, and prevents them from productively and compassionately engaging with other people who seem to be different.
5. Stay positive. There is far more good than evil in the world. Do not let negative experiences change the way you are with people. This is exactly what such people want.
“Be like the flower that leaves its fragrance to the hand that crushes it.” Ali Ibn Abi Talib
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