Message of peace after terror in Christchurch

The recent tragedy in Christchurch has left many grief-stricken and horrified. It has also generated respect for wise and loving responses offered in the context of unimaginable loss. New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern in particular has demonstrated compassionate and wise leadership. Others have reached out in solidarity to their Muslim brothers and sisters, and these inclusive actions have been appreciated by many of the Islamic faith.

Dr Rateb Jneid, President of Muslims Australia, Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (whose head office is in Zetland), extends his gratitude to all the wonderful people around the globe and especially from New Zealand and Australia for their support in this time of grief.

Dr Jneid says that, while it is hard to come to terms with this tragic situation, it is heartening to see world-wide support for the Muslim community. The messages of solidarity, the memorials and emotional tributes received have been extraordinary, clearly showing that humanity can unite and negate evil.

The view of Islam is clear. God says in the Quran:“O people, We have created you from a male and a female and made you into races and tribes so that you may know each other. Surely the most honoured of you in the sight of God is the one who is the most righteous of you” (49:13).

There is no reason why these God-given diversities should create barriers or cause animosity among human beings. They can enable better relationship.

All faiths advocate the seeking of truth, and faith speaks to faith in a process of acceptance, tolerance, compassion, justice and humility. And when we talk about differences we must be generous and patient, always bearing in mind that we are all God’s creation, and to God we shall return.

Though work remains to be done, I hope that together we can bring the changes necessary to combat evil and rid the world of the insidious plague of terrorism.

Once again, thank you all for your support in this difficult time.

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