Kia Kaha or the Declaration of Human Fraternity: The Message against Global Terrorism

Sent On: 
Tue, 2019-03-26
Newsletter Number: 

A message left among flowers and tributes by the wall of the Botanic Gardens on March 17 in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Carl Court/Getty Images)


On 15 March, a self-proclaimed ‘white nationalist’ opened fire on worshippers at mosques in Deans Ave and Linwood, New Zealand, killing 50 people and wounding another 50. The Australian-born gunman used five weapons, including two semi-automatic assault rifles, in the attack. The death toll might have been even higher but for the heroism displayed by unarmed men at both mosques.


People across New Zealand will listen to the Muslim call to prayer on Friday as the nation marks one week since the New-Zealand mass shooting, that was labelled by many as ‘massacre’. New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern labeled the crime against worshippers as a well-planned "terrorist attack". She said some of the victims may have been new immigrants and refugees. “They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not. They have no place in New Zealand,” she said.


In Egypt, the Grand Imam of al-Azhar Dr. Aḥmad al-Ṭayyib compared the massacre of New-Zealand with the [beheading] executions practiced by the ISIL also known as Dāʿish, saying: “they are two branches of the same tree rooted in hatred, violence and extremism.” [See AWR summary]

Dār al-Iftāʾ described the terror act as ‘despicable’ calling on the international communities to direct all their efforts to ‘dry up the sources of Islamophobia and racism.’ [See AWR summary]


Both the Egyptian thinker and president of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA), Dr. Muṣṭafā al-Fiqī, as well as Egyptian human rights activist, founder of Egypt Freedom Party, and former MP, ʿAmrū Ḥamzāwī, condemned the attack on the mosques, saying: “terrorism has no religion.” In his tweet, Ḥamzāwī sees the suffering of the families of the Muslim worshippers killed in the attack, akin to the sufferings of Coptic Christians in Egypt, and the attacks they endured, while al-Fiqī confirms that the beheading of 21 Coptic workers by the ISIL is another color of the same terror for which the executed Muslim worshippers had to pay their lives. [Read both AWR summaries respectively here and here]


Al-Bawāba News video clip interviewed Egyptians. Whether old or young, male or female, Muslim or Christian, the interviewed unanimously condemned the act of hatred. [See AWR summary]


This agonizing experience might open the eyes to many to finally realize that terrorism has no identity and, instead of associating it to Islam, they would recognize that terrorism claims exclusively the lives of the innocent regardless of their faith, creed, or color.


While the rising "Islamophobia" is mainly responsible for the attack on the mosques, the IS had sent messages and videos of retaliation after six months of silence. “The message comes as the IS caliphate, which once stretched for tens of thousands of miles and ruled over some 10 million people, is on the brink of defeat,” the MSN reports, and as the Egyptian Dār al-Iftāʾ has warned of.


The Human Fraternity Document signed by both the Christian and the Muslim segments of this world, earlier this month, and represented by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam al-Ṭayyib is a strong message against the rise of Islamophobia ignited by western nationalism, and the retaliation threats of radicals who wrongly call themselves Muslims.



March 26, 2019


Jeanne Middelstaedt-Rizkallah

Professional translator and interpreter for Arab-West Report