On March 15, Friday, at least 49 people were brutally murdered at gunpoint, with around 20 victims wounded at Al-Noor and Linwood Mosque located in Christchurch, New Zealand.
These shootings happened during Friday prayer (Jumu’ah) around noon, when Muslims all around the world come together for congregational worship. The gunman live broadcasted his massacre on social media during the time, using a manifesto laced with white supremacist quotes and anti-muslim references. Prime Minister Jacinda Arden in response to this situation described it as, rightfully so, a terrorist attack perpetrated by people with “extremist views.”
Following the attack, three people have been arrested and one was charged with murder.
Overnight, this has rocked not only New Zealand and Muslim communities nationwide, but the entire world when news broke about this terrorist attack on innocent Muslims. Muslims worldwide constantly fear for their lives because of growing Islamophobia and because of attacks like this. As families continue to grieve the loss of the many victims, here are a few ways to help not only them but Muslims and local mosque in your area.
While you still can, attend a vigil.
A number of vigils have been held and organized for the victims in the Christchurch mosque attacks, nationwide and worldwide countries like Canada. One quick Facebook search for vigils can lead you to several hundred happening in different countries. Just one’s presence to show solidarity means a lot to the families of the victims.
Outside of Christchurch mosques as well as many other mosques worldwide, flowers have appeared in solidarity with Muslim communities.
Donate to ongoing fundraisers for the victims and their families.
With no pressure, you can try to donate to several of these victim’s families and help those affected by this tragedy. Per CNN, Impact Your World is compiling a list of organizations for donating to these families. New Zealand Council of Victim Support Groups is one of the great organizations that truly help with the Muslim families and victims affected by the tragedy. It came up with a crowdfunding campaign to collect funds for the victim’s families. Another organization is The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh who also set up a fund for the victims.
Givealittle page was also created by the New Zealand Council of Victim Support Groups to help with funds.
Lastly, speak up against awful hate crimes.
The best way to help is by attending vigils and donating to the families, but for those of you that are unable to, there are other ways to help. You can always your strong voice and speak up against the Islamophobia deeply rooted within close-minded beings and societies who contribute to massacres just like Christchurch. Words have such strong significance and people should realize and articulate the word “Islamophobia.” You can issue a statement or take action by showcasing through written words against Islamophobia in the wake of Islamophobic attacks.
It is never too late to raise awareness and always contribute what you can kindly to those who have been affected the most by, call it what it is, terrorism against Muslim communities.