Chicago - Aug. 12, 2019
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10 Ways Chicago Muslims Are Reacting To The Tragedy In New Zealand

The Chicago Muslim community is visibly shocked at the news of the terrorist attack in two mosques in New Zealand.

Here's how the Muslims of Chicago are reacting to the attacks:

1. Many Muslims kept wake watching their social media feeds, especially Whatsapp to get updates on the shooting.

2. Many turned to local news and national news and were disappointed that regular programs were going on, and Muslims wondered: "If such an attack were made by a Muslim on a church, would the world stop regular news and give us wall-to-wall coverage?"

3. Video of the gun man's live feed was circulated on WhatsApp groups run by Muslims. Later, Muslim scholars circulated their message for Muslims to stop circulating such videos and delete them from their devices.

4. On Friday, mosques in the Chicago area (there are 130) held special prayers for the victims and their families.

5. Mosque leadership contacted local authorities to perform extra security around every mosque.

6. Mosque leadership hired extra armed security personnel at both the doors of the masjid because all the mosques were expected to be packed for the Friday afternoon (Friday) prayers, which happened between 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

7. All the 25-plus full-time Islamic schools in the Chicago area remain open but under heavy security.

8. Muslims were pleased that some media outlets are designating this incident as a terrorist attack - and disappointed that other media outlets have failed to to do so and are just using the word "attacks."

9. Special bulletins were taken out by ICNA CSJ (Council of Social Justice) to assist mosque in preventive measures against such attacks.

10. GainPeace will be holding Mosque Open Houses to meet with neighbors and to help fight bigotry and Islamophobia. The first such open house was Friday in Denver. Another is in Indianapolis on Saturday. Locally, an open house will be held at a mosque in Wheaton on April 13, and a mosque in Glendale Heights on April 20 at a Mosque in Glendale Heights.

"Muslims are using the opportunity of this terrorist attack to take extra precautions," said GainPeace director Sabeel Ahmed.

"We are receiving calls from non-Muslims on our 800-662-4752 outreach line, for support and help. One such call also came from Canada, and the lady called to convey condolences to the Muslim community.

"We are also hosting mosque open houses to provide an opportunity for non-Muslims neighbors to meet Muslims and share grief, learn from each other and get educated about each other's faith and cultures.

"Hopefully, education and finding out our common believes will help us to fight the fear of the unknown, which often leads to hate, bias and attacks."

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Previously by Sabeel Ahmed:

* Wheaton Mosque Conducting Open House to Promote Peace.

* Chicago's Hijab Campaign.

* Area Man Offers Neighbors Help During Bitter Cold Snap.

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on March 16, 2019


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