Christchurch: A Christian’s Perspective

The Al Noor Mosque where 42 of the 50 shooting victims were killed. It’s located on the coast of New Zealand, in Christchurch (Photo used by permission of Wikipedia commons).

This is a Christian’s point of view on the Christchurch shooting. You can find a Muslim point of view here .

The first time the news broke to me about the shooting at Christchurch, I was at home with my family. We were watching the nightly news and the headline was “New Zealand mosque shooting”.

My immediate feelings were sadness, but I wasn’t shocked. I, like many other people around the world, are used to seeing these headlines — such as the school shootings that occur all around the US.

Although there are shootings at churches, they occur much less frequently than schools or mosques. For the most part, I don’t have to worry about discrimination against my religion — which is something I and many other Christians take for granted.

I can’t understand the hatred and religious discrimination Muslims go through because I don’t know. I don’t understand what it’s like to not be able to wear something that is a part of my religion in fear of hatred or people calling me a terrorist.

The evident hypocrisy in the Christian religion — such as Christians being violent and name calling Muslims but at the same time claiming they are loving and accept all –and with those who believe that all Muslims are terrorists is unbelievable. The thousands of stories of women who’s hijabs are used as a point of discrimination is quite appalling when Catholic nuns cover up for very similar reasons.

Those who believe that all Muslims are terrorist also believe that the Quran teaches violence, when there are many similarities that can be found in the Bible as well. Every religion has an extremist group but that does not mean the extremists are the face of that religion with which they associate themselves with.

I hear people in my church saying the usual phrase of “sending prayers” and while it might lift their conscience, it doesn’t do the same for me. I have a strong faith, but I know it takes more than praying to God for help.

The problem is we don’t talk about these things and we move on with our lives because it doesn’t directly affect us. But it really does. When someone else opens fire on innocent lives, that is my generation’s problem whether it’s in our own country or across the world.

While there is a problem with gun control and violence, there’s a large problem with Islamophobia. Whenever a shooting occurs at a church, there is worldwide support– but a mosque shooting is a completely different story.

There’s evident support of the victims from more liberal, Democratic politicians and supporters, but lots of hate and blame put on Muslims from the opposition, which tends to be more conservative. All over social media sites (Reddit, Twitter) are words of justification for the shooting, claiming that no one wants their “filthy, greasy, terrorist asses [in the West]”.

The shooter himself denounced immigrants and thanked Trump for being “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose” and criticizes the decaying white culture, whatever that means.

This shooting is absolutely heartbreaking to me and I still can’t understand the full extent of it. But what I do know is that someone who greets a man with “hello brother” and is followed by a killing of 50 people should be emotional for anyone, regardless of religion.



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