A Message of Hope and Solidarity from ICNA to the American Muslim Community
NEW YORK, NY (March 18, 2019) – The world woke up on Friday, March 15, 2019 to the horrific massacre unfolding in Christchurch, New Zealand.
No one imagined such as thing happening in this small and peaceful town. The indiscriminate killing of innocent people praying has shocked the world. It was a sad day. New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Arden called it “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”
The questions many of us are asking – What should we do in the wake of these terrible terrorist attacks?
First and foremost, as American Muslims we must send a message of solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters of Christchurch in this very difficult time. It’s our religious and moral obligation to extend a helping hand to our brothers and sisters in this time of need. ICNA and Helping Hand for Relief and Development are sending their teams this week to be on the ground in Christchurch to assist the victims and their families and deliver messages of condolences and support on behalf of the Muslim community of America.
Second, we ask all people of conscious and faith to categorically reject hate, Islamophobia, racism and injustice. We ask you to raise your voices against all social ills that are gripping our communities and societies. Invite your community, interfaith leadership, friends and family to peacefully protest, hold marches and vigils. Send a clear message that we don’t have any place for those ideologies of hate, racism and Islamophobia. Send a clear message that we oppose all forms of hate, bigotry, racism and Islamophobia. Let everyone know that we value and invite inclusion, respect and decency for all people.
Third, we ask that you to call your public officials and lawmakers to enact and enforce laws that make our communities inclusive and safe for all citizens of our nation. We invite you to make your voices heard at the upcoming Muslim Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill on April 1-2, 2019 in Washington, DC organized by US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO). Ask your lawmakers to take practical measures to curb the alarming rise of hate and Islamophobia. We invite you to participate in the 44th ICNA-MAS annual convention in Washington, DC during Easter weekend (April 19-21, 2019) for a unique opportunity to listen to scholars, intellectuals and politicians. We believe it will be an amazing show of unity and solidarity for all Muslims. It will be a great opportunity to showcase this years convention theme of “Healing Humanity: Lessons from Islam”.
In the wake of these terrorist attacks in Christchurch, we must work closely with our law enforcement on how to make our places of worship, our organizations, our institutions, and our communities’ safe. This past Friday, we have seen overwhelming support and love from our neighbors, colleagues, interfaith partner and friends vowing to protect our places of worship (masajids) while we pray. We heard from our police and law enforcement of their commitment to our safety and security. We heard from public officials and lawmakers about their pledge to fight hate and Islamophobia. Let’s work as a community with all these stakeholders to ensure we accomplish all these goals by working together. It’s important that we hold events, town hall meetings to share our concerns now while the media is attentive and before another story captures the airwaves. Promote these events on your social media and share with colleagues, friends and family.
In the end, we would like to assure our community that we are working around the clock with all stakeholders and leadership of our communities to ensure the safety and security of our community. We put our complete trust in Allah (swt) and ask for your support and duaa.
The inclusion of poor in our festivity must be done without which we cannot complete our service to Allah SWT. How many societies the poor is left out of the pie and the rich eats the entire pie. A few weeks ago, we celebrated Eid-ul Fitr. And on that Eid, we enjoy its virtues by giving the Zakaat-ul Fitr to the poor before we begin the Eid prayer. This Eid we have to complete its celebration by giving 1/3 of the meat to the poor and needy. As Allah SWT says: Then eat thereof and feed therewith the poor who have a very hard time. (22:28) EID MUBAARAK!