All praise and thanks belong to God, the Lord of the Worlds,
Asalaam Alaykum Brothers & Sisters,
May peace and prayers be upon Prophet Muhammad
By now, you must have heard about what happened over the weekend. In Virginia, a man wielding a baseball bat attacked a group of American Muslim teenagers, kidnapped one of them, and beat her to death.
Less than a day later, a man crashed a van into a crowd of British Muslims outside a London mosque after taraweeh prayers.
We pray that Allah SWT (God, Glorified and Exalted) grants instant Paradise to those who were killed, swiftly heals those who were injured, and delivers justice to those responsible for the violence.
If these hate crimes make you sad, angry, or afraid, you're not alone. But we must not allow sorrow, anger or fear to paralyze us. Nor should we allow hate crimes to scare us out of being proudly and publicly Muslim.
Indeed, if you visit the masjid for the five daily prayers, do so as often as you want. If you want to sport a beard or a thobe, go for it. If you wear a hijab or a flowing abaya, more power to you.
But we must also be safely Muslim.
To that end, we have attached a security guide prepared by CAIR here. The security guide covers everything from personal safety tips to masjid security. Please review it, especially if you lead an organization or a masjid.
Secondly, you can watch this video footage of CAIR Georgia's first self-defense seminar, which we hosted last December. The first segment covers self-defense tips for women.
Finally, email us to arrange for this self-defense seminar at your masjid. You can also watch the videos below to learn how to use pepper spray, as well as how to handle an active shooter.
May God protect us from the threat of violence.
Edward Ahmed Mitchell
Council on American-Islamic Relations