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How Should Muslims React to Christchurch Mosque Shootings?

15 March, 2019
Q In the wake of Christchurch mosque shootings which claimed the life of 50 people, the question arises as to how Muslims should react to these horrific attacks.


In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In this fatwa:

1- Muslims should unite in solidarity against the perpetrators of terrorist acts through all available legal channels.

2- Muslims should take all necessary measures to protect mosques, schools, and centers by equipping them with security systems.

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3- Muslims should speak out against Islamophobia and hatred speech.

4- Muslims should set aside their differences and stand united in confronting the forces of hatred.

5- It is crucial that a Muslim never responds to such events through emotional outbursts or violence.

In responding to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states,

The Muslim community at-large joins in the worldwide shock and condemnation of the horrific attack on worshippers attending prayers at two mosques located in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand, that ended in the cold-blooded murder of 49 people and injuring 20 others, including a five-year-old girl.

As Muslims, our first response should be to offer the supplication: “To Allah we belong and unto Him we shall return,” in addition to offering prayers for the victims, that Allah the Almighty grant them mercy and admit them to paradise; joining in the among the ranks of the prophets, the saints, martyrs and the righteous.

We also pray that Allah the Almighty facilitate the speedy recovery and grant them sound physical, emotional and mental health. It is also crucial at this time, that we remember those who have been left behind, and do whatever we can in terms of offering moral and financial support as they transition through this tragic period.

Now the question arises: What does the Muslim community do in the face of ongoing acts of terrorism targeting Muslims and innocent people everywhere?

There are no easy answers; however, we cannot cower in the face of terrorist acts. Instead, we should unite in solidarity against the perpetrators of any act of terrorism through all legal channels available to ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice.

It is also imperative that the Muslim community move to take all necessary measures to protect mosques, schools and centers by equipping them with security systems, as well as alerting police of any suspicious activities in order to safeguard our places of worship from such tragedies.

Those are things we can do in the interim; but in the long run, the Muslim community must continue to speak out against Islamophobia – a multi-billion dollar industry in North America and Europe.

The Muslim community must be willing to invest in countering Islamophobic propaganda and misinformation by providing sound information.

Ibn Rushd, a twelfth century Islamic philosopher, wrote, “Ignorance leads to fear, fear leads to hate, and hate leads to violence.”

We cannot afford to allow misinformation and ignorance to ignite hatred and violence; instead, we must provide a counter-narrative, based on truth and sound knowledge.

In these times, Muslims must forget their differences and stand together in solidarity in confronting the forces of hatred. Islamophobia has become a worldwide epidemic, fanned by those whose agendas are targeted toward adding fuel to the fires of endless wars.

Let us remember the Quranic wisdom: “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.” (Fussilat 41:34)

May Allah the Almighty honor us to serve as instruments of peace in a world torn asunder by hatred and infinite wars.

Almighty Allah knows best.