Shooting incident in Christchurch a lesson for all Muslims

KUALA LUMPUR: Muslims in the country have been urged to value the importance of peace and unity in the wake of the deadly shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand last Friday, which stemmed from a misunderstanding of Islam.

In a sermon ‘Islam, A Religion of Peace’  read out today, it pointed out the many instances in the Quran which emphasised the importance of preserving peace, such as the prohibition of indiscriminate bloodshed.

“Indeed, Islam is a religion that loves peace. Islam forbids its people from vandalism, crime, evil, violence, tyranny and so on.

“Islam rejects any extremist movements that use violence, murder and war that threaten the security of the country and the world,” said the text of the sermon, which was read and broadcast live on TV1 from the Salehin Mosque at the Kuala Lumpur Police Training Centre (Pulapol).

The shootings, carried out by a ‘white supremacist’, (proponent of a racist belief that white people are superior to people of other races) claimed the lives of 50 people, including a Malaysian, who had gathered for Friday prayers at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch.

Muslims were also urged not to retaliate against irresponsible actions of certain non-Muslims, which would ultimately lead to more harm.

“Remember, that the act (of retaliation) will not do us any good, and in fact, will lead to a prolonged culture of hatred, slander and prejudice,” the sermon read.

It also touched on the need for the community to understand the concept of taaruf (getting to know each others’ cultures and ethnicity)  tafahum  (mutual understanding) and ta’awun  (helping each other)  in order to safeguard the harmony and stability of the country.

“We should be careful by examining any propaganda, prejudiced opinions or news received about a particular race, religion and so on.

“Keep away from things that invite conflict, and instead call for unity and peace. Remember that a Muslim is one who keeps his tongue and hands in check,” it said.

A total of 50 people, including a Malaysian, were killed in a shooting spree carried out by a ‘white supremacist’ at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch last Friday. –Bernama