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In the name of Allah most gracious most merciful, all praise be to Allah the Lord of the Heavens and earth and peace and blessings be upon our beloved messenger Muhammad PBUH. It is with no doubt a difficult moment for all Muslims around the world.

·         I have mixed feelings about the shooting in New Zealand and every other shooting whether it is in a mosque, temple, church or synagogue where terrorism is expressed in different forms and innocent people are being killed.

·         My first message goes out to the shooter:

1.       We welcomed you in our mosque with smiles and peace and you paid us back by bullets and hate.

2.       There is no doubt that what you have done is an act of terrorism despite the justifications out there for what you did, as terrorism has no religion, race or nationality.

3.       The level of hate that you have expressed towards the innocent worshippers clearly indicates the lack of mercy in your heart.

4.       I just fail to understand why would you think that Muslims are a threat to you or your community, while your community has proven you wrong and stood by the Muslims after this horrific tragedy.

5.       If you think that Muslims will retaliate or revenge, then you are mistaken as our faith teaches us to forgive and love.

6.       Do you think that you have achieved your goal by doing this?

7.       This incident will not stop us from worshiping the Creator and for sure it won’t stop us from going to our mosques.

8.       Killing a few Muslims will not eliminate Islam for sure.

9.       You have actually done a favor to all of us, as more people are educating themselves about Islam after this incident.

10.   Despite what you did, we don’t really hate you but we surely hate what you did.

11.   The only competition that you should be in, is the competition towards goodness in this life.

12.   You can never bring back those who departed and it’s hard for people to forgive and forget but never forget that God almighty is all forgiving and you still have the chance to make a difference.

13.   There is no bravery in killing innocent people who cannot defend them themselves.

14.   But true bravery is to admit your mistakes and do the right thing.

15.   You brutally shot every one of them while they are total strangers to you and they have never harmed you in any way or form.

16.   You wanted to be popular by committing this crime on live stream but guess what, you forgot about the 1.8 billion Muslims around the world that you really hurt.

17.   Hate is a disease and can only be cured by love and true faith.

18.   The biggest crime in humanity is to kill innocent people in the name of God, while God is innocent of such atrocities.

19.   If you can’t stop hate and terrorism around the world, then at least do not be part of it and stain your hands with the blood of the innocent.

20.   Take the opportunity in prison to study more about Islam and you will surely realize that you have been eluded by islamophobia and media propaganda.

21.   The masses out there are so frustrated and angry with you, as you don’t have the right to represent them with this act or even claim that you did what you did for their liberty.

22.   If the justice system is merciful on you then never forget that on the day of judgment, God’s decree and punishment is for eternity.

23.   Prophet Muhammad PBUH forgave those who killed his loved ones and even those who tried to kill him, and we will for sure follow his footsteps and forgive you and open our arms for you.

24.   My final advice to you is that, it’s never too late to repent and ask forgiveness from God, the families of the victims and the rest of the world as long as you still have pulse in you.

·         To the victims of this horrific tragedy:

1.       We envy you for this great honor of being martyrs.

2.       You will surely be missed by all of us and we promise you to continue worshiping Allah no matter what happens inn shaa Allah.

3.       Our brothers and sisters from all faiths have mourned and grieved your loose.

4.       They were so brave to the extent that they formed human shields around mosques to protect the worshippers from any other attack and to assure them that it is still safe to worship God.

5.       Thousands of people around the world have sent you rosses of love and wrote emotional letters to pass their condolences.

6.       Your lives didn’t parish for nothing, it is the wisdom of God that goodness sometimes comes out of evil.

7.       Tones of people are visiting mosques after this horrific incident and they are eager to learn more about this amazing religion Islam.

8.       May Almighty Allah bless you, and may He reunite us with all of you in Heaven. Ameen

·         To the mainstream media:

1.       In such incidents you really come to understand the true colors of some of the mainstream media.

2.       Media agencies are expected to have values and be unbiased to any incident that happens, but unfortunately it is not the case here.

3.       When non-Muslims are killed by terrorism, then that becomes the main focus of the media everywhere in the world, but when Muslims are being slaughtered in a brutal way then it’s just one of those unfortunate events which will be highlighted modestly.

4.       Thank God that we have social media which is more powerful today than any other agency out there.

5.       Media is trying so hard to propagate that Islam is the enemy and that terrorism is a monopoly to Muslims, but day by day the opposite is proven with Muslims being the majority victims in most cases.

6.       It’s a relief to see all the empathy messages on social media from around the world, which shows the love and solidarity of people.

7.       It hurts me more to see the absence of the Muslim media agencies in covering such tragedies as if those who were lost are not so important.

8.       Before I blame the shooter, I would blame main stream media for creating this hate in the world and eluding the public that Islam is the enemy and it’s going to take over Europe.

9.       I am just wondering if the shooter was a Muslim would your reaction be as cold as it is today.

·         People of all faiths:

1.       Thank you for your love and support.

2.       Thank you for setting the best example in mercy and solidarity.

3.       Thank you for caring and proving to the world that whatever they do to us they can never break our unity.

4.       Thank you for proving to us that the conscious of this world is still alive and that there is still hope in humanity.

5.       We have a common enemy which is terrorism and if we stick together we will surely defeat it.

6.       Our pain and loose is your pain and loose.

7.       It doesn’t make a difference if a mosque has been attacked or any other house of worship.

8.       The time has come for us to accept our differences and be on the same team.

9.       We shouldn’t be driven by what the media tells us.

10.   We can only prosper if we coexist.

11.   Never fear Islam and Muslims as we are normal people like you and we are only seeking to live a peaceful life.

12.   Our homes and mosques are all open for you and are welcoming people of all faiths.

13.   The mosque doesn’t belong to Muslims, it’s the house of God Almighty and we have no right to restrain anyone from coming to the house of God.

·         The rest of the Muslims:

1.       I know you are all angry, frustrated and your emotions are running high.

2.       But I also know that as believers you all know that this is the decree of Allah and we need to be patient.

3.       You have to understand that God turns every calamity into an opportunity.

4.       This opportunity showed us how much love is out there especially from our New Zealand and Canadian brothers and sisters.

5.       They have expressed the highest level of compassion to the victims, their families and the rest of the Muslims.

6.       We don’t need to go for marches or change our phone profiles or burn some flags to express our frustration as this isn’t the teaching of our beloved prophet PBUH.

7.       But we can surely be more kind and loving towards others and show them how Islam expresses peace even in difficult times.

8.       I urge you all not to curse the west or hold everyone responsible for the mistake of an insensible individual.

9.       Let us not forget those who opened up their lands for us when were prosecuted in our lands.

10.   Be good ambassadors of this faith and conduct yourself in the best morals and ethics.

11.   Never face hate with hate and violence with more violence.

12.   Remember that saving a single soul is as if you are saving the entire humanity.

13.   Follow the footsteps of our beloved prophet Muhammad PBUH and forgive those who have wronged us.

14.   Educate others about your faith and build a community that is based on tolerance and coexistence.

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Sh. Hafidh Al-Sawafi

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