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‘I want to reclaim a sense of peace in my house of worship. Peace the shooters tried to take from us.’
In the face of the terror attack in New Zealand on Friday, Muslim communities around the world came together and prayed, sharing a powerful message on Twitter.
Photos of packed mosques filled social media, accompanied by the hashtag #MyMosque just hours after terrorists went on a shooting spree at two mosques in Christchurch, killing 49 people. The attack was broadcast on Facebook Live. Four people were initially taken into custody, but police currently have three in custody, according to the New York Times. One person, Brenton Tarrant, has been charged with murder.
Mosques in major cities around the world heightened security following the attack. Those open for prayer were guarded by armed police officers in New York City, according to the New York Times.
The New York Police Department released a tweet committing “to the safety of all houses of worship and freedom to practice your religion freely without any fear.” Alongside the message, the NYPD shared a photo of an officer speaking to a group of men during Fajer prayer.
Extra NYPD officers have been deployed to visit Mosques through NYC during early morning (Fajer) prayers.— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) March 15, 2019
The NYPD is committed to the safety of all houses of worship, and the freedom to practice your religion freely without any fear.#Christchurch pic.twitter.com/m1HLFO6sD5
Muslim digital advocacy organization MPower Change called for Muslims to use the #MyMosque hashtag along with photos of their mosques and prayer services. They called the move a “small action” that would show that the Muslim community “won’t be deterred or intimidated.”
Muslim communities responded with images of resilience.
In the face of this unspeakable tragedy, one small action we can take is to share photos of our mosques and prayer services on social media with the hashtag #MyMosque.— Nahela Morales (@NahelaMorales) March 15, 2019
We are #UnapologeticallyMuslim—and we won’t be deterred or intimidated. #NZMosqueShooting pic.twitter.com/0YAAwAPzF8
And people found they weren’t alone. @Mohammad_Moussa shared that he arrived at his mosque early for Friday’s prayer and by the end, “it was packed to the brim.”
“I want to reclaim a sense of peace in my house of worship. Peace the shooters tried to take from us,” @stobah wrote on Twitter.
The Imam at Jumm'ah said: "A message (Islam) that challenges injustice and inequality is destined to receive hostility at the hands of those who profit from injustice and inequality."#MyMosque pic.twitter.com/pfSqftUKYq— Ilham (@ilhanmiharbi) March 15, 2019
“Yea, indeed: everyone who surrenders his whole being unto God, and is a doer of good withal, shall have his reward with his Sustainer; and all such need have no fear, and neither shall they grieve.”#MyMosque pic.twitter.com/pHOMyQXHsI— Raquel E Saraswati (@RaquelEvita) March 15, 2019
Non-Muslim allies showed up to support their Muslim community members, too.
The local AU community with love and smiles after Jummah today. Im still out of words about all of this. One thing I do know is Allah repeated “With hardship there is relief” twice to affirm to every believer that He is watching over us and we never face anything alone #MyMosque pic.twitter.com/ktFuNjRhLa— عمر (@UrFavPali) March 15, 2019
A stunning portrayal of solidarity where many have gathered outside the Islamic Center of NYU wishing worshipers words of support and love. Many Muslims are walking in with tears, overwhelmed by the kindness. pic.twitter.com/Lfrmi9hZ2m— Rowaida Abdelaziz (@Rowaida_Abdel) March 15, 2019
H/T Huffington Post
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Elizabeth VanMetre is a reporter based in Wyoming. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School, and her work has appeared on ETOnline, the New York Daily News, Yahoo Travel, and more. She hosts a local morning show in Wyoming.