MSA holds memorial for Christchurch, New Zealand Mosque Shooting Victims


Muslim students during Dhuhr prayer, a noon prayer on the Jay Walk by Nora Abuhamdeh

Nora Abuhamdeh, Writer

In Christchurch, New Zealand two shootings took place inside two mosques on March 15 killing 51 people.

On Tuesday, March 18th John Jay’s MSA (Muslim Students Association) hosted a memorial and funeral prayer for the victims and their families.

51 colorful prayer mats were laid in a triangular shape going up the Jay Walk steps in order to represent the 51 lives lost.

“After I found out about the shooting I started to think, I went to a Friday prayer that same day, that could’ve been me,” said Mosaab Sadiea, President of MSA. “It hit me that this wasn’t a personal issue, this impacts all Muslims, we needed to do something.”

There were approximately 80 students standing on the Jay Walk facing the colorful prayer mats that each represented a victim. Sadiea then introduced MSA member Fatima Mohamed to perform a spoken word.

“Bullets, bullets that left mommy without 3-year-old Mucaad Ibrahim with diapers still left in the drawer, baby food still stored in the fridge, cold clothes still stored to later fit in, birthdays to celebrate. He wasn’t meant to stay in the masjid he was meant to come back home running to momma telling her how the prayer went,” Mohamed recited.

Mohamed’s spoken word left everyone in silence.

“That’s what I wanted my spoken word to express, that all of those people are humans, not just a group of people that were killed they are individuals and their names should be said, heard,  and remembered,” Mohamed said.

Secretary Musabika Nabiha was then introduced and brought to speak.

“What happened to Christchurch although it shocked me to my core, I felt a sense of hypocrisy why don’t I have this response every day when violence is a daily reality for Muslims in Yemen, in Palestine, in Kashmir, in Somalia, in Libya, in Afghanistan, and in so many other places, and see I didn’t have to read those places from my screen because we’re so used to the name of those countries and we know that these things happen there,” Nabiha said.

Members from Students for Justice in Palestine, Arab Student Union, Mock Trial, Desi Society, MSA, Intervarsity and two club coordinators were among those who came up to the microphone to speak their peace on how they felt and offered their condolences.

Sadiea then ended by inviting all Muslim students to pray “dhuhr prayer” which is the noon prayer, together on the grass in the Jay Walk. For non-Muslims students, a large white paper banner was laid out on the table with markers for everyone to sign and leave their own little messages.

“The takeaway from this is to take care of ourselves and watch out for one another, take your time to mourn and be sad but after this, we have to come back stronger,” Sadeia said.