Finding the right message for children after mosque murders
As support continues to flow in for Canadian Muslims, there is also the difficult task of explaining the Quebec shooting to children.
Tuesday at one Halifax school, teachers attempted to explain the unexplainable.
“I mean if it’s difficult to process for me, it’s difficult to process for them, and the articulation of the feelings is even more different,” says Zia Khan, director of Halifax’s Centre for Islamic Development.
Some of the children at the Centre for Islamic Development in Halifax have very strong feelings about the tragic shooting at a mosque in Quebec.
“I feel really deeply sad about what’s happening and the killing in Quebec,” says 10-year-old Ibrahim Esse.
“It hurts, it really does hurt,” adds 15-year-old Aisha Yaffa.
They are asking some even stronger questions about the massacre at the mosque.
“Why target the Muslims? It just doesn’t make sense,” says 10-year-old Ibrahim Yaffa.
“All Muslims are brothers and sisters, so if you’re going to kill them, just, they have no reason to, and then they don’t even feel sad, and it’s like why?” asks Esse.
There are no easy answers to these questions. As they continue with daily prayers, their Imam says that for children, that focus on goodness is important.
“It is a time for sadness for all of us, it is a time to heal also, and it’s also a time to know that there’s very good people,” Zia Khan explained to the classroom of children.
He points to the many gifts of love and support they have received.
“You might be feeling a little worried; will it happen here, will it happen somewhere close by? That you leave in the hands of God and we try to think the best of people and best of things that come into our lives,” Khan says.
The children seem to understand the sentiment.
“There’s some bad people who do stuff for no reason, and there’s nice people also,” says 10-year-old Muhammad Khan.
“I saw the vigil that happened yesterday (in Halifax) and that really brought a sense of belonging into my heart,” says Yaffa.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kayla Hounsell.