Reflection on the Christchurch Mosque Attacks

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This beautiful image was photographed at the Botanical Gardens tributes wall in Christchurch.

As salamu alaykum. We would like to acknowledge the profound spiritual leadership the Imams and Muslim community have given Aotearoa through the tragedy that has befallen us. It is a spiritual gift that will shape us as a nation. Humbly we say, “by their fruits ye shall know them.”  We also hold in prayer the suffering in Sri Lanka as this tragedy has become global in nature.

We are in a time when the immediate intensity of the mosque attacks has ebbed and we must find our way to becoming a more inclusive society without the profound wrapping of tragedy, Love, and courage being so palpable and mobilising. Many of us may have visited mosques for the first time and begun taking steps to counter Islamophobia, or the marginalising of any minority group, in our small ways. As an offering towards this, we would like to explain a little more on the meaning of As salamu alaykum that Kaia learnt in conversation at the open day of AlHuda Mosque, Dunedin.

‘As salamu alaykum’: as well as being a blessing that means ‘peace be upon you’, it also means no harm will come to you in this interaction. This message seems particularly poignant given the circumstances we have heard it uttered in, and within which many of us came to first know these words. May we carry the spirit of As salamu alaykum forward with our efforts to counter our ignorance, offer peace, and do no harm. The reply to As salamu alaykum is Wa alaykum salamu (and peace be upon you too).

For some words on holding a contemplative center while supporting those in trauma we refer you to this is a seven minute video in which James Finley recorded to support people living in the States but applicable to the Mosque attacks. The first half is for people directly affected by trauma and the second half is for those responding to others in trauma.

To finish, a song written in response to the mosque attacks by Cantabrian Ali Harper, We Release our Love.

Posted on 06/05/2019 by Kaia Ariel