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After the Christchurch Attack, I Fear Going to the Mosque

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Mar 25, 2019

Question

Salam Aleikom. I am a 21-year-old Muslim living in the UK. I attend the mosque frequently, but after the NZ attack, I do not go to the mosque with as much joy as I used to go.

I know some brothers said they would stop coming to the mosque as they have become a dangerous place. Others prohibit their wives and daughters to attend the Friday prayer. I know everything is Allah's plan and He is our Protector, yet many of us started to fear to go to the mosque.

What do you advise me and my other brothers and sisters to overcome this fear?

Counselor

Answer



In this counseling answer:

• We will all face trials: “Do people think they will be left alone and they will not be tried? …” ( Al-`Ankbut 29:3)

• Perhaps a community meeting can be held to discuss everyone’s fears and find solutions. This may include offering counseling, develop ongoing support groups, training brothers for security roles inside and outside of the mosque, as well as offering classes in self-defense to all members of the mosque.

• Education surrounding how to handle conflict, how to react in dangerous situations as well as learning specific supplications and du’aa’s for protection is helpful.

•  Many communities across the world were quick to condemn the vile act and offered their solidarity, support, and friendship.


As-Salaam Alaykum,

Thank you for writing to us. Given the tragic terrorist attack at the Masjid in Christchurch, NZ, it is understandable that the community is fearful. One does not expect to go to a place of worship and be a victim of a terrorist attack.  Sadly, the rise of Islamophobia in conjunction with white supremacist attacks is on the rise.

karim serageldin & naaila clay

White Supremacy and Terrorist Attacks

Attacks such as these can cause fear, anxiety, sadness, anger, and trauma. We live in a very unsafe world and realistically, attacks can occur anywhere; on the subway, crowded places, events, even just walking down the street.  Our Muslim sisters and brothers worldwide have been enduring these attacks and other acts of violence for a long time due to hatred, occupations, and oppression in various other countries such as Palestine, Myanmar, China, and other places.

We will Face Trials

We must remember that our beloved prophet (PBUH) and his family,  companions, and followers were severely tried and attacked.

AboutIslam illustrates that we too will also be tested.

“Do people think they will be left alone and they will not be tried? …” ( Al-`Ankbut 29:3)

When you claim to believe in Allah, stand for what is right, oppose what is wrong, support justice, or fight oppression, these claims will all be tested. Allah will show who is truthful and who is lying. This is the tradition of those on the straight path at all times.

The Prophet and his companions were asked in the Qur’an a question that is also asked to all of us: Do you suppose that you will enter Paradise untouched by the suffering endured by the people who passed before you? They were afflicted by the misery and hardship and they were so convulsed that the Messenger and the believers with him cried out: “When will Allah’s help arrive?” (Al-Baqarah 2: 214)”

Helping to Ease Fears & Safety Tips

I would kindly suggest that insha’Allah, you or a family member approach your imam with your concerns. Perhaps a community meeting can be held to discuss everyone’s fears, concerns as well as how to come to a resolution which will ease fears and provide an extra layer of security. This may include offering counseling, develop ongoing support groups, training brothers for security roles inside and outside of the mosque, as well as offering classes in self-defense to all members of the mosque.

Education surrounding how to handle conflict, how to react in dangerous situations as well as learning specific supplications and du’aa’s for protection is helpful.


Check out this counseling video:


The fear is understandable. However, when we do not attend the mosque, the shaitan and his dupes (white supremacists, terrorists) win. They accomplish what they set out to do. Instill continued fear and prevent Muslims from worshiping in the mosque.

If we look at the other terrorist attacks such as the Pittsburgh synagogue, the Charleston S.C. terrorist attack at a church committed by Dylann Roof, attacks on Sikhs and their places of worship, we can see that hate and violence targets others as well. Yet, these communities managed to still go on refusing to submit to the trauma and fears they must have felt. As Muslims, we need to do the same, insha’Allah.

Despite the Hate, there is Love & Support

We need to also look at the kind, loving outpour of support that came from non-Muslims after this terrorist attack.  Many communities across the world were quick to condemn the vile act and offered their solidarity, support, and friendship.

Outside of the mosque I attend, there were flowers placed by neighbors near and far, showing their love and support. While creating more secure and aware places of worship is a sad reality today, we also see that there are others out there who are not Muslim but do love and support us in our times of need. This indeed is a blessing.

May Allah keep us all safe, amen.

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

Jesus Wept: Terrorism in Christchurch

The Christchurch Aftermath: What Now?

A Tribute To The Christchurch Martyrs




About Aisha Mohammad

Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word poetry projects.

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