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Christchurch Terror Attack: Supporting our Muslim Community

 

This is a compiled list of ways to help our Muslim community in the wake of the atrocities in Christchurch.

Give

Donating can be one of the most effective ways to support a devastated community. It’s important to ensure that the money is going where it is needed - in this case, causes that send money directly to the victims and their families, or pre-existing foundations that have the structure to provide support and resources.

  • All funds raised by the Victim Support Fund go towards resources and support for the victims and their family members' immediate short-term needs.

  • "All funds raised are going to be distributed to the families by NZIIC - New Zealand Islamic Information Centre. All proceeds will help with the immediate, short-term needs of the grieving families. No amount of money will bring back their loved ones, but we do hope to lessen their burden in some way." 

  • Shakti is a non-profit organisation serving migrant and refugee women. 

  • Donations to the New Zealand Red Cross will go towards providing psychological first aid for victims’ families.

Act

  • Attend vigils whenever you can. Show up. Show your support in a tangible way. The New Zealand Herald has a list of vigils being held around the country.

  • Mosques are open (and well-guarded right now). You can visit the mosques and show your support and create space for the Muslim people there. From a friend: “I personally found it very comforting when I went there after the vigil and saw all the flowers and people talking to me.” As always, remember that the Muslim community have been through a lot in the past few days, and may not necessarily be ready to talk to strangers. Just be there, and let them take the lead.

  • Amnesty International are collecting messages to send to the community in Christchurch. Send a message of hope and love here.

  • Send an email or letter or call or message to your local MP asking them to support Jacinda Adern’s new gun initiatives. Find your local MP through the electoral website here.

  • Be there for your Muslim friends and acquaintances that you see on a daily basis. It may be hard for them to reach out, so take the first step. Listen. Let them take the lead.

  • Amplify Muslim voices when and where you can. At the same time, allow for their thoughts and feelings to manifest in whichever way they choose, which may not necessarily be (and does not have to be) the way you would expect or want.

  • Call out racism and Islamophobia when you hear it. Small remarks add up. Words matter. As said in this Stuff article, “Read this guide from Amnesty on how to tell someone you love they are being racist. Take action. Aro Against Racism Ōtautahi has been set up following the attacks to fight racism through positive action and kōrero.

“We believe that only through actively dismantling the parts of our culture which oppress people of colour can we truly move toward a city and world without racism.”

Learn

  • The media will be full of information about the terrorist. He does not deserve our attention - the victims do. Learn their names. Learn their stories at the links below, and do not let them be overshadowed by perpetrators of this vile act.

https://mobile.twitter.com/khaledbeydoun/status/1106746726864637952?s=21

https://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/christchurch-mosque-shooting-faces-victims

  • Don’t allow yourself or others to succumb to easy stereotypes - take some time to learn about the religion of Islam outside of what the media says about it. Here’s a starting point.

 
 

Notes:

A lot of the information in this article came from this excellent article by Stuff.
My dear friend Afreen also gave up her time and energy to help me compile this list.