On the 27th of March, members of the Brisbane Muslim Community attended a workshop outlining the response of the Queensland Muslim community to the Christchurch massacre that killed 50 people.
The workshop analysed the timeline of events that took place in response to the massacre from the Muslim and non-Muslim communities. This included looking at the broad range of group responses, the courageous acts of individuals, the supportive and not-so-supportive actions of public officials as well as the ongoing efforts that contribute to social cohesion.
The workshop highlighted the need for further collaboration. There were many examples of best practices in the timeline, however it was noted during the workshop that there is a need for greater sharing and communication of ideas, resources and practices across the community.
It was acknowledged that while we have many different cultural traditions and experiences, we share common dreams and hopes for peace, security, opportunity, belonging and prosperity for our families and loved ones. Moreover, we must remember that to be Muslim is to care for the welfare of humanity.
A report is currently being compiled from the outcomes of the workshop that intends to provide lessons from the responses to the Christchurch massacre so that we may grow as a community. Without question, Muslims have suffered, and continue to suffer, in many places throughout the world.
We hope that we can meet the challenges that face our community through clear and open channels of communication and collaboration with Islamic bodies, masjids and welfare groups. We have seen clear signs of concern and care by the greater Australian community which emphasises our shared humanity.
Now, more than ever, we must welcome those who show concern and be patient with those who are indifferent. All of us have a role to play. Perhaps the simplest charities, like a welcoming smile, are among the best ways to build bridges of understanding and respect.