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WNY Muslim community reacts to New Zealand tragedy

Islamic Society of Niagara Frontier: "We have to fight hate with love"
Posted at 11:56 PM, Mar 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-15 23:56:01-04

(WKBW) — Muslim leaders across Western New York are reacting to the tragedy in New Zealand where a gunman opened fire at two separate mosques killing at least 49 people and injuring dozens.

Mohammed Ismael Islam spoke on behalf of Jami Masjid on Genesee Street reacting just hours after the hate-filled massacre.

Jami Masjid of Buffalo expresses their deepest condolences to the victims of the Christchurch Massacre. Friday is the holiest day of our week, and the Friday (Jumuah) Prayers are a sacred time for all Muslims. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said that “the Muslim community is like a body, when one part of the body aches, the entire body aches.” Today, we ache with our New Zealand brothers and sisters. In addition, we highly condemn the Islamophobic and xenophobic rhetoric as well as the rise of white supremacy worldwide that has led to this atmosphere where bigots feel they can openly target us in our places of worship. The martyred are promised a high station in Paradise, but this is a moment for us to reflect on our relationship with God and with our communities and hopefully build bridges and grow. We have an Open House planned in the coming days to reach out to our community as well as with the BPD to create strong local relationships. The time and date are not yet confirmed but will be in the coming hours.

Imam Syed Khalil Ullah Qadri and President of the Islamic Society of Niagara Frontier, Shadid Mehboob, shared in condolences to the families changed forever by this tragedy.

Islamic Society of Niagara Frontier strongly condemns the massacre of worshipers today in a mosque in New Zealand. This heinous act carried out by a terrorist was executed in a way quite similar to the recent mass school shootings in United States. ISNF offers condolences to the families of victims. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. ISNF assures its congregation that we have taken strict security measures for their safety and security in light of this incident. In addition, ISNF acknowledges the outpouring of support from various interfaith groups in greater Buffalo area.

WNY Muslims released this statement about the attack:

This morning, grief-stricken news arrived from Christchurch, New Zealand. A man with extremist beliefs entered two mosques during Friday prayers, and live-streamed himself, while repeatedly bursting bullets, causing the loss of 49 lives and more than 20 seriously injured. Every life is precious. The Noble Qur’an says, “…if anyone slew a human… it would be as if he slew the whole humanity: and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the whole humanity” [Al-Qur’an 5:32]. Approximately 50 lives were cut short today, and the whole world mourns. We are grateful for the outpouring of support from our brethren religious communities in Western New York. Like the last horrendous incident of Pittsburgh synagogue shooting in October, we highly appreciate all the sympathetic gestures, which not only strengthen the bonds between all peoples but also shows that we all are united against such appalling incidents. We all must stand shoulder to shoulder against irrational violence and its hateful propagation. WNYMuslims denounces such heinous acts. We believe that these perpetrators are disconnected from humanity and its obligations. We strongly believe that misdeeds of a few members don’t reflect their whole community. We request the community not to be judgmental and to be patient in this grave situation. "O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient." (Qur'an, 2:153) We are a community-based organization that serves Western New York by creating awareness, encouraging diversity, and providing service. We work to become a platform for both Muslims and non-Muslims alike, encouraging dialogue about important issues so that we may reach more peaceful solutions. We encourage the community to voice and connect by utilizing our website and social media outlets.