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Standing with Muslim communities

What you can do to ease grief, share kindness and have informed conversations

The horrifying violence against Muslim communities in New Zealand has left us shocked, grief-stricken and questioning the world around us.

To everyone feeling the weight and the sadness of these events, in NZ, in Australia, and around the world, know that we can stand together and support each other, showing the power of humanity and kindness.

People are asking ‘What can I do?’ No question could be more important.

There’s always something you can do, no matter who you are or where you live.

Learn how to support people in distress

Many people are feeling grief, fear and vulnerability right now. We have some tips on how to look after yourself and others.

In essence:

  • It’s common to experience physical and emotional impacts of stress at this time.
  • Spend time with those you care about, and give people time to recover.
  • Rest, diet and physical activity are especially important right now.
  • Limit exposure to media and social media – it’s a balance between getting the information you need and not being repeatedly exposed to stressful events and language.
  • Be honest with children, let them recover at their own pace and reassure them about the future.

Find out more:

Coping with a major crisis

Tips for helping children cope with crisis

Reach out to your local Muslim community

Many mosques have open days where non-Muslims are welcome to meet their Muslim neighbours, ask questions, share food and make friends. Mosques and other institutions around Australia also continue to hold vigils in memory of those lost in the Christchurch attacks.

Muslims Australia is the national peak body for Islamic Councils. Its website includes a mosque finder and good background information about Islam.

Have informed conversations

This may be the most useful thing you can do with family, friends or neighbours. Every time you counter misinformation or build understanding, you make our communities a little bit safer and more peaceful.

Here are some facts that can help you:

Muslims in Australia

FAQs on Islam and Muslims in Australia

History of Islam in Australia  

Refugees and people seeking asylum

Many of us, in New Zealand and elsewhere, will shoulder a burden of grief for a long time to come. Yet friendship eases grief and knowledge dispels fear and mistrust.

Let’s support each other to heal, recover and make the world better.

Statement from New Zealand Red Cross:

‘Let us grieve together, let us care for others together, let us rise together’