The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) has called on all masajid to perform Salahtul Ghaa’ib (Janaza Salaah in abstentia) immediately after the Jumuah prayers on Friday, after 49 Muslims were murdered in a killing spree at two masajid in New Zealand.
One of the attacks at Al Noor and Linwood Mosques in Christchurch was live streamed on Facebook. It vividly depicts a shooter entering a masjid with semi-automatic weapons and opening fire on worshipers shortly after the weekly Friday prayer of Jumuah.
One of four shooters that have been arrested by New Zealand authorities described himself as “Just an ordinary White man. Born in Australia to a working class, low-income family.” He said his motive was to avenge “thousands of deaths caused by foreign invaders”.
Twenty-eight-year-old Brenton Tarrant wrote a 37-page manifesto declaring his intentions and said he had planned the attack for two years prior to making it a reality.
According to the Oxford dictionary, a terrorist is defined as “a person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.”
The attack has been widely condemned by the Muslim community and it’s leaders, who have called for it to be labelled as “terrorist attack”.
Masjidul Quds in Gateville’s spokesperson Sataar Parker noted that the masjid will be performing Salahtul Ghaa’ib after Jumuah.
“The least we can do is assemble today, and I’m sure many mosques will be following suit. Salahtul Ghaa’ib will be performed immediately after the Jumu’ah salah In Shaa Allah. We make dua that Allah Almighty must grant all those that died in this very terrible incident a very high place in Jannah In Shaa Allah,”
The leadership of Zeenatul Islam Mosque in Chapel St, Zonnebloem, has indicated they will be following suit. The masjids Shaykh Muhammad Moerat also condemned the “senseless” killing and have called for unity among the Muslim community.
“We are deeply saddened and humbly appeal to all to unite against any act of terror and to grant human life the sanctity honour and dignity it deserves. We beseech the Almighty Allah to grant those who lost their lives in this tragedy the highest place in paradise and patience to their loved ones during their hour of grief Insha Allah,”
The Claremont Main Road Masjid board echoed these sentiments calling for the perpetrators to be brought to book. In a statement, the board said the attack highlights a broader, over-arching problem.
“These latest attacks of barbarism is clearly the consequence of a pernicious and venomous global racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia that has taken hold in all corners of the world. It is a nightmare that no masjid or other places of worship is immune to, and one that we do not wish on any community,”
The statement emphasized that these acts are not in the interest of humanity: “Our message is clear and unambiguous: all forms of discrimination, accompanying violent extremism, are abhorrent and contrary to our shared humanity.”
Jamiatul Ulama South Africa in a statement highlighted that the orchestrated manner of the attack points to a “normalized” Islamophobic rhetoric.
“We condemn strongly this level of hate and terror which we believe is fomented by Islamophobic rhetoric normalised and ratcheted in recent times by supposedly responsible leaders, in positions of power and influence the world should not reward racists and peddlers of hate to make careers out of the maligning of Muslims and the propagation of Islamophobia,”
The body further called for reflection during Anti-Racism Week and cautioned against sharing the video content.
“As we observe Anti Racism Week 2019, let us reflect on these developments in New Zealand, and say ‘no’ to hate, bigotry and prejudice. Especially on social media, let us be more circumspect and curb the curiosity that promotes the circulation of materials that unwittingly gives undue publicity to the mongers of hate crimes.”
The MJC in a statement called on political leaders to do more to “counter Islamophobia, acts of hatred and terrorism against any group”, including “provocative and divisive speech, which can contribute to increase(ing) Islamophobia and racism.
The MJC has echoed calls for unity.
“It is critical that we stand together as a community and oppose all acts and words of hatred, terrorism, racism and violence directed at any member of any society, particularly based on their religion, race or affiliations.”
“On behalf of Muslims of South Africa we share our condolences with the aggrieved families and ask that Almighty Allah/God grant the deceased Jannatul Firdaus (Highest abode in Paradise) and the families patience during this painful period. We pray for the recovery of all those injured during this hideous incident,” The MJC statement read.
The Al Jama-ah party of South Africa expressed the same notion and has meanwhile called on Muslims to refrain from any form of retaliation.
“We urge Muslims of South Africa and around the world, to not retaliate in any way, but to rather be a reflection of the true religion of peace and tolerance that we know Islam to be.”