In a "message to the Muslims in the West," Jordanian academic Professor Eyad Qunaibi said that the "moving and noble acts of kindness" by non-Muslims who stood alongside the victims after the mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, should be rewarded - and that the best reward was to call them to Islam. Speaking in English in a video posted on his YouTube channel on March 19 under the title "New Zealand Attack Aftermath - The Opportunity!", Professor Qunaibi said that "the door is wide open" to add converts to the ranks of Islam and advised Muslims to take advantage of the hashtags trending on social media following the shootings to "present Islam honestly." In 2015, Qunaibi, a professor of pharmacology, was given a prison sentence for "incitement against the political regime" following a Facebook post in which he criticized his country's ties with Israel and the westernization of Jordanian society. He was released after serving almost a year of his sentence.
Following are excerpts:
Professor Eyad Qunaibi: This is a message to my Muslim brothers and sisters in the West regarding dealing with the non-Muslims who stood up with them after the events of the two mosques in New Zealand. Our Prophet, peace by upon him, said: "He who does not thank people would not thank Allah." There were many noble and moving acts of kindness done by non-Muslims these past days, and we saw some of them standing at the gates of mosques and guarding them. Some others [stood] up in respect for the call to prayer, and others [carried] banners of support of the Muslims, and another egging the head of an Islamophobe, and others raising funds for the families of the victims. These acts should be respected, admired, and fortified [sic], and most importantly they should be rewarded.
The best reward for those who have stood with you in this noble stance is to call them to Islam. My brothers, this is a great opportunity that we should not miss. We are generally falling short in calling others to Islam, so now is a great opportunity to make up for our shortcomings and to draw closer to Allah by inviting these people to Islam.
We must, therefore, take advantage of this great opportunity to invite them to the light that Allah has guided us to. Whoever stands by you, tell him: "I'm grateful to you, and I would like to express my gratitude to you by sharing with you my most precious position – it is my religion. This religion, which I believe is the cause of happiness in this life and in the Hereafter." If you keep seeing this person regularly, you might want to postpone calling him to Islam until you build a strong relationship with him, so you can show him the true manners of Islam. But, if you are afraid not to see him again, then do not delay, brother. Do not delay, and do not hesitate to invite him. As for our brothers and sisters who were killed, we ask Allah to accept them as martyrs. Then, we seek that Allah use us to compensate for them by adding many times more new Muslims. This way, they will have more than martyrdom, and they will have become a cause of eternal happiness for others, and we will become the instrument that Allah uses to achieve this final end. There are hashtags that are so trending now – Islam, Muslim, New Zealand – so we can post with them some references and websites that present Islam honestly. This is an opportunity for us, brothers and sisters. The people are ready to listen now, and their interaction proves that the world is not monopolized by the politicians and the media, which vilifies Islam. The door is wide open and all we need is seeking the aid of Allah, loving our religion so dearly, and having sincere compassion to those passion in recompense of their stance.