This Jummah, the world reached out to that suffering community in beautiful, unexpected, human ways.
“For many, New Zealand was their choice, the place that they chose to come to and committed themselves to, the place they chose to raise their families,” said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. “We were chosen… because we represent diversity, kindness, compassion, a home for those who share our values, refuge for those who need it.”
She added: “Those values will not and can not be shaken by this attack ”
And they weren’t. New Zealanders took to social media to help coordinate the response to the Christchurch attacks, while people the world over reached out in any way they could.
An example of the rather beautiful Kiwi national ethos is that in a FB group for female docs, within hours members across the country have organised donations, offers of housing and food, blood donations and more. It’s a special place. My heart aches. #nz
— Charlotte Squires (@CharSquires) March 15, 2019
Hello A+ blood type people who can donate. The NZ Blood service is desperate for our blood. You should make an appointment to donate.
— Tahetoka the modest rebel (@amscraig) July 29, 2014
Nasreen Hanif, a spokeswoman for the Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand, said that little news was coming through about whether friends and relatives in Christchurch were safe, and that the country’s Muslims were anxious for updates. https://t.co/0OYBDtwnwM pic.twitter.com/7qtVcNxPwz
— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 15, 2019
And that expression went beyond coordinating through social media. From New Zealand to England to Boston and Chicago, a spirit of interfaith warmth spread through the whole of the world in the shadow of terrorism. As it has so many times before — from September 11th to Charlie Hebdo to this place and time. Even when imperfect, the spirit of humanity is one of unity in the face of adversity.
— Pakistani Siasat (@Pakistani5iasat) March 15, 2019
In the wake of the horrific terrorist attack in Christchurch today these two gentlemen go someway towards restoring my faith in humankind. Photographed outside mosques in Sunderland and Manchester today. Not all hero’s wear capes #ChristchurchMosqueAttack pic.twitter.com/YdL2Syr7He
— Kari Hughes#DangerousHero (@Rustykargem) March 15, 2019
— CNN (@CNN) March 15, 2019
— Ben Birchall (@BenBirchallUK) March 15, 2019
At the Walthamstow vigil for #Christchurch. The way the community has come together to show solidarity for a tragedy half a world away is deeply moving, and I’ve never felt prouder to be a Londoner. pic.twitter.com/Ojv6zbzZCJ
— Ash Sarkar (@AyoCaesar) March 15, 2019
Went to #Jummah aka Friday Prayers – it was heartwarming to see a full house, with #community leaders, #interfaith orgs, @SenatorDurbin, @RevJJackson, political leaders, etc. to come and show their support for the #Muslim community in #Chicago after #NewZealandTerroristAttack
— Kinza (@KinzaK89) March 15, 2019
MUST WATCH: A Muslim and a Jew united together for peace.
— Hananya Naftali (@HananyaNaftali) March 15, 2019
Jummah Mubarak • Shabbat Shalom "Evil occurs when we suppress the truth about our shared humanity.” Amanda Quraishi @imtheq #Wisdom #JummahMubarak #ShabbatShalom #Cousins https://t.co/v3vCMcvhuB pic.twitter.com/zzFkxMIe5C
— Rabbi Jill Zimmerman (@RabbiJill) March 15, 2019
That interfaith warmth extends to the wide array of charitable causes unified in sharing a helping hand this Jummah. And that’s produced amazing results so far.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh has set up a fund to donate to the Christchurch victims. You can donate here. There is also an official donation page with Givealittle. And there\s a LaunchGood fund that will be distributed by the New Zealand Islamic Information Center.
Following initial reports calling the Christchurch mosques “peaceful”, Twitter lit up with pictures and stories of the banal beauty of everyday worship at mosques around the world. The hashtag, #PeacefulMosques, is a ride through that beautiful banality and carries powerful images and stories in the shadow of adversity.
— (((clikengle))) (@clikengle) March 15, 2019
I remember when my grandfather died, it hit me hard. Religiously I spent my days in the mosque surrounded by family, mourning my grandfather and telling stories. The mosque helped me so much then on a deep personal level. #PeacefulMosques
— Badrock277 🇬🇧 🇵🇰 (@badrock277) March 15, 2019
— Iman (@writinglikeiman) March 15, 2019
At my #PeacefulMosques the loudest thing you would hear is a child’s laughter or a phone ringing (because someone forgot to put it on silent)
— عربي حرّ (@b_free2) March 15, 2019
The place I go for #Jummah prayer here in #Boston is actually a church. They’ve built a whole wudu area in the basement for Muslim worshippers and allow for the statues in the main hall to be covered during prayer time. #brotherhood #PeacefulMosques
— Saad Munir (@saadmunir1) March 15, 2019
As is unfortunately rote at this point, this outpouring of support also came from political leaders, including Presidents, Prime Ministers and monarchs as well as mayors and legislators.
“I have been deeply saddened by the appalling events in Christchurch today. Prince Philip and I send our condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives,” read a statement from Queen Elizabeth. “I also pay tribute to the emergency services and volunteers who are providing support to those who have been injured. At this tragic time, my thoughts and prayers are with all New Zealanders.”
The thoughts and prayers of every decent Londoner are with those in Christchurch who have lost their lives.
Our city’s diversity is a strength, not a weakness. We stand shoulder to shoulder with our brothers and sisters in New Zealand. pic.twitter.com/yzapF533Zj
— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) March 15, 2019
….that we stand in solidarity with New Zealand – and that any assistance the U.S.A. can give, we stand by ready to help. We love you New Zealand!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 15, 2019
Morning (Friday) is Jummah, the weekly day of worship for our community of Muslim friends and loved ones.
Be there for them. Check in. Perhaps extend a kind gesture at your local mosque.
There is so much fear and hate.
We must negate it with active, courageous love.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 15, 2019
Terrorism cannot be justified for any reason. In close cooperation with New Zealand and the international community, Japan is determined to resolutely stand up against terrorism. https://t.co/fuAH6e1ht9
— 安倍晋三 (@AbeShinzo) March 15, 2019
Inna lilahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un. This is chilling news to wake up to. In the face of this horror, I’m mourning with, and holding our community extra close today.
We must not live in fear. I will be at Jumu’ah today and I hope others will too. Jummah Mubarak.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) March 15, 2019
"We will find a time and a place for us to come together to share that sense of grief and loss… love, compassion and support"
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) March 15, 2019
And in a time of such extreme anguish, the everyday kindness of humanity can be beautiful to the point of tears.
I usually go to Jummah at a small mosque inside a strip mall. #MyMosque had so many people that people ended up having to pray outside. The doors were jot closed and our people were not deterred.
— MuslimGuy (@TheNizAhmed) March 15, 2019
Am traveling today so went to jummah at a community mosque I’d never been to in Santa Clara. Can’t articulate how healing it was. Even if you’re not Muslim, go to a mosque this weekend and just sit and listen
— Dujie Tahat (@DujieTahat) March 15, 2019
Today, I am proudly walking into my masjid for Jummah prayers, as Muslims have in our country for decades.
Because that is our right.
I won’t be afraid. I won’t cower to a logic of hate that wants to me to fear being who I am.
Don’t share his images hate. Share your love.
— Abdul El-Sayed (@AbdulElSayed) March 15, 2019
Outside the Idris Mosque, near Northgate, neighbors have shown up to offer their support after the mass shootings in New Zealand. pic.twitter.com/WxjK6xou32
— Jennifer Sullivan (@SeattleSullivan) March 15, 2019
this is #mymosque where everyone from all background came for the same purpose. my favorite part is looking at the sky before performing maghrib prayer. i love being reminded that no matter how big my problem, i can always go to this place, it always humbled me and calm my mind pic.twitter.com/BhJibH80Xw
— Happy Meal (@moehammadrifki) March 15, 2019
Big respect to the police officers standing outside mosques for jummah prayer today ❤️
— Ahmet.R.O. (@A_R___O) 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
We encourage readers to take a moment and find a way to support local Islamic communities or Christchurch directly.
Katelyn Kivel is a contributing editor and senior legal reporter for Grit Post in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @KatelynKivel.