The images showed mosques packed with worshippers attending the weekly Friday prayer service ― hours after at least 49 people were killed while participating in their own congregational prayers at two mosques in Christchurch.
Much of the carnage at the shooting, the deadliest in New Zealand’s modern history, was allegedly carried out by an anti-immigrant white nationalist who live-streamed the massacre on Facebook, The Associated Press reports.
Mark Lennihan / ASSOCIATED PRESS A woman leaves the Islamic Cultural Center of New York under increased police security following the shooting in New Zealand on March 15, 2019.
Police in New York City and other major cities across the U.S. tightened security around mosques in the wake of the attacks. The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights group, urged mosques in America and abroad to take “stepped-up security precautions.”
Despite increased anxiety about security, many Muslims refused to be deterred from attending prayers on Friday.
— Omar Suleiman (@omarsuleiman504) March 15, 2019
MPower Change, a Muslim advocacy organization, encouraged Muslims to tweet photos of their mosques on Friday with the hashtag #MyMosque.
“We are #UnapologeticallyMuslim—and we won’t be deterred or intimidated,” the organization wrote.
Soon after, Muslims began posting images of their prayer services online.
— Mohammed Bushra (@mesbushra) March 15, 2019
— rashid dar | راشد ڈار (@rashiddar) March 15, 2019
Couldn’t make it to #MyMosque today but found a masjid in Detroit and attended a beautiful khutbah with a congregation that prayed for all those attacked. May Allah grant them the highest of heavens, Ameen 🙏 pic.twitter.com/uAnQzS22i6
Some noticed that their worship spaces were packed with people.
I usually go to Jummah at a small mosque inside a strip mall. #MyMosque had so many people that people ended up having to pray outside. The doors were jot closed and our people were not deterred.
— MuslimGuy (@TheNizAhmed) March 15, 2019
— Mohammad Moussa (@Mohammad_Moussa) March 15, 2019
— Dalia Hashim (@DaliaMHashim) March 15, 2019
Noor Zafar, a fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project, shared a photo of her mosque. Zafar said the service was “full of love, anger, grief, light, healing, & prayer.”
here’s a picture of #MyMosque today during Jumah services. it was full of love, anger, grief, light, healing, & prayer, & i am so blessed to be part of this beautiful, resilient Ummah. white supremacy ain’t shit. we are out here, and we will continue to shine. that is all. pic.twitter.com/7YIyiaOwD3
— Noor Zafar (@Noor_Zaf) March 15, 2019
Others welcomed the presence of non-Muslim allies who had shown up to demonstrate their solidarity.
Jummuah tday at #MyMosque in SoCal, Islamic Center of Conejo Valley, we grieved as a community, beautiful prayers from @HussamA & the presence of allies standing in solidarity outside, eased our troubled hearts. Sending our love filled prayers to the community in #NewZealand pic.twitter.com/I9miZVaT7c
— Assia Boundaoui (@assuss) March 15, 2019
Attended the Friday Khutbah today @UnityPaloAlto and people who were not Muslim or I hadn’t seen before started filing in and filling in gaps between the attendees sitting on the floor. ❤️#MyMosque #NewZealandTerroristAttack pic.twitter.com/AAz7yRiT1g
— Maryam Labib (@labibti) March 15, 2019
Selma Tobah, a Ph.D. student from Ontario, Canada, tweeted that she felt anxious and emotional about attending services on Friday and wondered if she would make it back home alive. Still, she said, she went to her mosque to “reclaim a sense of peace in my house of worship.”
“There was something healing about seeing my ummah [community] greet each other in love despite the pain,” Tobah wrote on Twitter.