In light of what happened recent in New Zealand, during Jummah at our all times, and in the mosque out of all places, our community is proned to feel insecure and unsafe. What makes matters worse, it’s been 2 years that history repeats itself since the Mosque shooting in Quebec.

  • First and foremost it’s important to recognize that feeling this way is normal. So don’t beat yourself and others down for this. These are feelings and emotions from Allah and it’s natural for us to feel pain and upset when our communities are targeted this way.
  • Secondly, it’s more important now than ever for us to come closer together as a family and community to support one another. You may feel like isolating yourself but its important to seek out connection with your loved ones and local community. I know many of my colleagues from Naseeha spent time with their families, hugged each other, and talked to one another about what had happened. 
  • So seek connection with your loved ones and seek connection with Allah. Supplicate for the victims and their families.
  • Reach out to your friends and family to see how they are doing and whether they are coping okay or need your support
  • If you or your loved one are feeling very intense and frequent negative feelings then reach out to a Muslim Mental Health Professional who deals with trauma and grief to talk about it. They can help you process all of this.

There are many, many Muslims across Canada, and the world, that felt impacted and targeted as a group after the Quebec shooting.

Huma Saeedi, Manager of Outreach

How do we talk about this sort of stuff with our families and friends? 

  • Start with the more vulnerable ones. Listen to them talk and support them. Let them voice their thoughts and feelings about it. If they are in crisis, we provide them with comfort and let them express how they feel to you. If we also need someone to talk to it is important not to share it with those already in crisis and vulnerable. Rather find out side groups, community leaders, and professionals to talk to. 
  • Allow yourself and others time to process this. This is a painful tragedy. For parents, reach out to their children’s school to express your fears and concerns. Talk to your children in age appropriate ways about what happened. Monitor their social media usage as a lot of this news, graphic and all is being shared rapidly online.

Tips for Elementary Students

  • Children may become concerned that something bad will happen to them, their family or friends. Assure them that safety measures are in place and that you will keep them safe.
  • If your child is not focused on the tragedy, do not dwell on it. Try to avoid having detailed adult conversations regarding the tragedy in front of children. However, be available to answer questions to the best of your ability. Young children may not be able to express themselves verbally. Pay attention to changes in their behaviour or social interactions.
  • Limit exposure to media coverage. Images of a disaster or crisis can become overwhelming, especially if watched repetitively. Young children, in particular, may not be able to distinguish between images on television and their personal reality. Older children may choose to watch the news—be available to discuss what they see and to help put it into perspective.
  • Maintain normal family routines as much as possible. Routine family activities, classes and friends can help children feel more secure.
  • Be aware of your own needs. Don’t ignore your own feelings of anxiety, grief and anger. Talking to friends, family members, faith leaders and mental health counsellors can help.
  • Let your children know you are sad. You will be better able to support them if you can express your own emotions in a productive manner.

Tips for Secondary Students

  • Bring up the topic at a time and place where a discussion can occur. If there are distractions, a shortage of time or if either you or your teen is too tired or busy, it is likely the conversation will not be completed. If your teen is not focused on the tragedy, do not dwell on it. However, be available to answer questions to the best of your ability.
  • It is normal for people to try to make sense of things when a serious loss occurs. Allow your teen to share his or her ideas and speculations. Help them to separate what they know from what they are guessing about.
  • Limit exposure to media coverage. Images of a disaster or crisis can become overwhelming, especially if watched repetitively. Teenagers may choose to watch the news—be available to discuss what they see and to help put it into perspective.
  • Maintain normal family routines as much as possible. Routine family activities, classes and friends can help children and teens feel more secure.
  • Be aware of your own needs. Don’t ignore your own feelings of anxiety, grief and anger. Talking to friends, family members, faith leaders and mental health counsellors can help.
  • Let your teen know you are sad. You will be better able to support them if you can express your own emotions in a productive manner.

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