GGC’s Muslim Student Association held a dua on March 21 for victims of the two mosque shootings in New Zealand in between the student center and Starbucks from 12 to 12:30 p.m.
On April 4, Brenton Tarrant, who was initially charged with the murders of 52 people, including children and the elderly, was charged with 50 murders and 39 attempted murders. If he is found guilty, he will face life in prison without parole.
Many students found out about the shooting from social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook before they received the story from the news.
“I heard on Instagram,”said Ali Alhassan, member of MSA. “It’s a usual thing to hear about Muslims getting killed and bombed. This one was worse because it was live streamed.”
According to Facebook’s newsroom, the livestream had less than 200 views while it was up but a total of 4,000 views before being removed from their website. Also, within the first 24 hours, Facebook removed 1.5 million videos globally, and an additional 1.2 million videos were blocked at upload.
“I think it’s great that Facebook is stopping the spread of videos from the New Zealand attack and removing any type of hate-related media associated with it,” said Aman Ghuman, a Freshman majoring in Environmental Engineering. “Also that they’re being open about it and keeping their users informed by providing updates.”
The students of MSA were confused about the attack.
“I was trying to figure out what was going on. You don’t hear a lot about New Zealand and especially their Muslim community,” Ali said.
Akeem Muhammad,President of MSA, felt the same.
“I could feel it in my heart … which is why we are out here today. We’ve seen the pain within the Muslim community. We’ve seen all the community have this hurt,” Akeem said.
Rian Teyani, Secretary of MSA, stood behind one of the tables encouraging people to sign a board filled with different student and faculty members names in support of the victims.
“Today we are doing a tribute to the New Zealand victims that passed away,” Rian said.
While the students signed the board, they were provided information about the Muslim community and information about the Quran.
“I just want people to talk to us,” Ali said.
“We bleed the same blood as our neighbors,” Akeem said. “There were people who were upset we were out here. They thought we wanted them to join Isam, but they don’t understand who we are. I’m hoping we can have the people that left us behind feel honored.”