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Featured Supporting Muslims as members of our communities

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by adrian009, Mar 16, 2019.

  1. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    Many will be aware of a large number of Muslims being shot in mosques last Friday in New Zealand. Muslims in two mosques located within Christchurch were targeted. They were unarmed and gathered together peacefully for worship. 49 were killed and over 40 were injured from gunshot wounds. The attack had been planned and perpetrated by a 28 year old Australian National who had set up base in the city I live. He actually lived just down the road from me. There appears to have been at least two other accomplices and police are continuing their investigations.

    I am in shock as are many in my community. Yesterday community leaders met together with Muslim leaders to discuss how we can support our Muslim community. I was invited as I’m currently the chairman of our cities interfaith council a role which I feel largely unworthy to fulfill.

    Many Muslims were feeling unsafe in our communities. The police investigation is ongoing and it is unclear if all perpetrators and accomplices are in custody. In the interim there are to be no meetings in mosques for safety reasons. As an outpouring of support many are approaching Muslim neighbours and associates with gifts and expressions of love and support. Most New Zealanders are appalled by the actions of these far right terrorists. At the meeting yesterday I mostly listened to the concerns of others as we collectively tried to find our way forward.

    I’m wanting to discuss and reflect on the journey towards pulling together as a multicultural and multifaith community to support our brothers and sisters in the wake of an act of terrorism and hate. I also wanted to share my personal journey through this horrific time. Thanks for taking the time to read my OP and consider a topic that really affects each and everyone of us.

    As it happened: 49 killed, 48 injured in Christchurch terror attack
     
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  2. icehorse

    icehorse Well-Known Member
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    I wish harm to no one. I am sorry for everyone's losses in this truly tragic and horrific event.

    That said, unreformed Islam is a truly horrible ideology. Whether wittingly or not, when Muslims enter non-Muslim communities, they are tacitly asking us to accept all the intolerance that comes with Islam. This is not acceptable.

    Other religions have reformed. So must Islam.
     
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  3. Amanaki

    Amanaki sotāpanna

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    I think it is so important as a huam race we all stand together no matter our background to give our love and thoughts to all who are affected by the terror that NZ experienced yesterday. The shock and fear will be there for a long time but time can also heal the wounds that Muslims have experienced in NZ now.
    If i can be to any help to the muslims here in the forum i am open to give my advice and comfort.
    To see hate in the scale that happen yesterday is our worsed fear.
    Not only for muslims but for all human beings who experiences terror we must stand together and fight back the evil (not fight with weapons)
     
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  4. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    Thanks Adrian. I didn’t realize you lived so close to the offender. It must have been a shock to all. It’s important I feel to reassure Muslims that we are their family and make them feel welcome as things like this can be terrifying to think one is a target in their own Mosque. The thing I believe we all need to do when such things occur is fight them with an even stronger sentiment of love.

    For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time: hatred ceases by love, this is an old rule. (Buddha- Dhammapads ch1:5)

    I charge you all that each one of you concentrate all the thoughts of your heart on love and unity. When a thought of war comes, oppose it by a stronger thought of peace. A thought of hatred must be destroyed by a more powerful thought of love. Thoughts of war bring destruction to all harmony, well-being, restfulness and content.
    Thoughts of love are constructive of brotherhood, peace, friendship, and happiness. Abdul-Baha
     
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  5. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    Many blessings to you and your community.
     
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  6. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    I wish you’d be more specific here icehorse.

    What do you mean by terrible ideology?

    Apart from sensationalized news around terrorist groups 1.7 billion Muslims the majority live in peace, harm no one and are peaceful, godly people.

    What specifically are you referring to when mentioning the intolerance that comes with Islam?

    Again here apart from sensationalized news focusing around terrorist groups I don’t see 1.7 billion intolerant Muslims.
     
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  7. whirlingmerc

    whirlingmerc Well-Known Member

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    I am saddened and grieved that people in any religious congregation were harmed and hope God brings comfort to the families and friends
     
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  8. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein Pyrphóros ⚡ Lux Aeterna
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    My heart breaks for them as fellow human beings. People should feel safe in their churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, etc. They should be places of refuge and sanctuary. Like a second home. To violate that is unspeakable to me. To take innocent lives and gun down unarmed people is...I have no words. That is the height of cowardice and dishonor. The murderer will get his spiritual due, no doubt.

    You are a good man, Adrian, and a light of your community. I have no doubt of that. If something like this happened to my community, God forbid, I hope I have as much compassion and strength to help as much as you do. Blessings to you.
     
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  9. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein Pyrphóros ⚡ Lux Aeterna
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    How disrespectful of you.
     
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  10. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    Thanks for your comments @icehorse . In New Zealand we have about 60,000 Muslims that make up just ove 1% of our community.

    Religion in New Zealand - Wikipedia

    We’ve never had problems from our Muslim community with acts of terror. The last politically motivated act of terrorism was 34 years ago when the French government blew up a Greenpeace boat used to protest against their testing nuclear weapons in the Pacific.

    Sinking the Rainbow Warrior - Nuclear-free New Zealand | NZHistory, New Zealand history online

    Like many places in the Western world we have had a rare instance when a person takes it upon himself to go on a shooting spree but never any Muslims.

    Aramoana massacre - Wikipedia

    We had our first Muslim member of parliament in 2002 who provided distinguished service for nine years before retiring.

    Ashraf Choudhary - Wikipedia

    It is natural for ethnic and religious minorities to wish others would see the world as they do. In fact that is human nature. However there’s no serious discussion about New Zealand becoming Muslim, Buddhist or even Christian. We’re a secular country without any state religion and that’s unlikely to change soon.

    I agree there are aspects of Islam that have no place in the modern world but the same could be said for most other religions.

    Thanks again for your post.
     
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  11. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    Thank you for your kind and respectful thoughts. Buddha and His Teachings have a special place in my heart and does Muhammad. We have good representation from the Buddhist community on our interfaith council. I have no doubt as to your sincerity and genuine wish to reach across cultural barriers and be united in our humanity while respecting our diversity. That appears the most constructive way forward.
     
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  12. England my lionheart

    England my lionheart Rockerjahili Rebel
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    Hi Adrian,I'm in New Zealand ATM on the North island and the community here has been in shock over it.

    There have been vigils at many churches but I agree with the kiwi who say "let's not change how we behave because of this",this is reminiscent of the UK that has undergone many attacks.

    Whatever, it was a horrific attack on defenseless people and a worrying sign of just how wide the right wing has spread,whatever faith or non faith the victims I hope this will pull people together.
     
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  13. icehorse

    icehorse Well-Known Member
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    I'm with everyone on this thread who is calling for love and peace. So it's hard to know what to do when confronted with an intolerant belief system. I do not think that pretending is the answer. So I do not believe we should tolerate intolerance. I think we must be honest about intolerant beliefs and do what we can to change the minds of people who believe intolerant things.

    As for the details of how Islam is intolerant, I'd be happy to discuss that on a separate thread. What I will say however, is that I'm not talking about terrorism.
     
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  14. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    Hi David,

    The offender, although originally from Australia moved to Dunedin (last year I think) and had planned this attack for many months. Evidently he had been a fitness trainer in the past and had been involved in a local gym working out presumably in preperation for the attack. Originnaly he had targeted the mosque in my city but then decided Christchurch would be better. The police had cordorned off a section of road a few hundred meters from where I live. They are searching the house for clues but also concerned about any bomb materials. Its been quire surreal to think this evil plan had been hatched from my neighbourhood.

    I do very much like the quotes provided from Buddha and Abdu'l-Baha. Let me add one from Muhammad:

    Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.
    trans. Yusuf Ali, Quran 2:256

    The way forward is to strengthen bonds of love and fellowship that reach across cultural boundaries. It can be a simple gesture such as laying a single flower at a mosque or reaching out to a Muslim neighbour or workmate. When we have friends or associates that are Muslims something changes within us. If we keep closely to only our cultural group it becomes easier to see Muslims as 'others' and not one of us.

    Kind Regards
    Adrian
     
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  15. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    What is the "far right"? I don't want to google it and end up on some FBI list or even worse, a list of those that support them. But what are they "right" of? Are they white people that think they are better and smarter than everybody else and afraid of losing their superiority? That's not "right" of anything thing, that's radical racism.

    But what about the lessor degrees of racism and prejudice? In the U.S. every group of people has their bad and radical side, and we're all scared of those other groups... and lump all together as something different and bad. Mexicans have their gangs. Blacks have gangs. Even Asians and Whites have their gangs. As a kid, nobody from our neighborhood went into someone else's "territory". And how about the adults? Do people grow out of their fears and prejudices? No, adults are just as bad, just on a larger scale.

    In America, we were told we were the "good" guys. What we do is what's right. So when we sent in our planes and ships to blow people up, we were trying to stop evil. We were trying to stop the people from over there. The people that were a different color, a different religion, that had different politics and wanted to change our way of life. But how "good" were we? Sometimes, not so good.

    The political games still go on. White collar criminals still try and lie and cheat their way into wealth and power. There are so many ways that the dominate group can manipulate the world to keep themselves at the top. But the world is changing. The dominate group's power is fading. What is their plan? To still demonize the other people.

    But here in the U.S. it's all people of color. We are told all brown people coming from Central America are evil and trying to invade America, bringing their drugs and gangs. We are told that Muslims want to bring Sharia Law into our country and take over. This attitude starts at the top and trickles down to some young kid with a automatic weapon that thinks he's doing what's right... killing innocent people that he believes are evil. But, he's not right and I wouldn't call him being far to the right, but far wrong. Good luck to you Adrian trying to bring peace and understanding to the people in your city.
     
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  16. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    You will know first hand what New Zealanders are going through and how its our first experience with anything like this happening before. Many other countries such as England have had a number of incidents now.

    You are right. For many of us, its continuing to behave as we do. New Zealanders are accustomed to multicuturalism and value diversity as well as our unity. Of course it is based on our shared humanity whether we have a faith or none at all. Nearly half of New Zealanders have no religious affiliation.
     
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  17. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    In NZ the Muslims men, women and children were attending Friday prayers and were massacred. From that how are we now focusing on them as intolerant people when it was a callous Australian who was intolerant?

    Isn’t it the anti-Muslim attitude in the world that needs reforming?
     
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  18. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
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    Pretty much. Right on the political spectrum. Radically conservative vs. the Left, liberal. The far radical right is unquestionably racist... Nazism, Neo-Nazism, White Supremacists and their ilk.
     
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  19. The Anointed

    The Anointed Well-Known Member

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    To my Muslim mates who love Australia.

    Many men have sought to tame her
    Many men have played their hand
    Many men have come to court her
    From far and distant lands
    But the men who'll win her favour
    And take her for their wife
    Are the men who love Australia
    And will give to her their life.

    She's the Queen of Southern Waters
    And we, her dev-o-tees
    Protect her sons and daughters
    In this land that's girt by seas
    This wide brown land that we call home
    Where the golden wattles blow
    Is the land from which we'll no more roam
    As we watch our children grow

    Now our children call her mother
    This land we took to wife
    In this world there'll be no other
    For who, we'll offer up our life
    We see into the future
    A world --- free from wars and pain
    Where our children and their children
    Are all --- Australians...............................The Anointed.
     
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  20. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    Thank you for sharing your experiences in the USA.

    Here is a link that appears safe and informative about the far right.

    Far-right politics - Wikipedia

    It can have a variety of connotations and whether or not its useful will become apparent. The phrase appears to have arisen out of associations with Nazi type ideologies that were racist, nationalistic and upheld political authoritarianism.

    The perpetrator posted on social media a 16,000 page manifesto or document. I haven't read, don't intend to read it and would advice others not to read it. Why? Because it is hate speech. It is illegal in my country to disseminate such a document. If you or anyone else comes across it on social media I would advise you delete it.

    Racism in this scenario may involve associations with the white supremacist movement. Nationalism may be a belief in the superiority of one's own country above others. In an era of the increasing necessity of international cooperation it could be promoting one's national interests to the deteriment of others or even the world.

    From what we know, it appears the main perpetrator was motivated by both racism and a hatred of Islam. Often, but not always, the two can go together.

    That sounds like a community that is divided, not united? What about schools and the workplace? Is there not more intermingling of cultures and races? How about marriage? Is there not much in the way of marriage between peoples of different races and cultures? How about with friendships? We're talking about a country that had an African-American president not so long ago...not for just one term but for two! How about your senate and congress? There must be different races represented.

    What I read from your post is that racial integration continues to be a challenge in America and racism continues to be a dominant issue. So if there is segregation (albeit voluntarily) there will be more cultural misunderstandings. There will more misinformation and distortions in regards perception of religions or worldviews other than our own.

    Race relations in America is clearly a huge topic and well beyond my area of expertise.
     
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