Since Monday’s suicide bomb attack close to the Prophet’s mosque in Madina, there’s been one question that seems to appear more than most: if the attackers were prepared to target one of Islam’s holiest sites, then how can those responsible claim to be Muslims?
The hashtag #PrayForMadina seemed to reflect the views of most: horror that such a holy site be the target of such a deadly attack, a united condemnation of people claiming to be Muslims targeting the lives of Muslims and general disbelief and sadness.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman said in his Eid message that the kingdom would respond with an “iron fist” to anyone who attacked the country or tried to corrupt the minds of the nation’s young. On social media many have been aired their views of the attack.
Jami posted on Twitter the simple message: “terrorism has no religion. STOP! #PrayForMadina”
Meanwhile Nauman tweeted: “A muslim would never bomb the second most holiest place in Islam. Terrorism has no religion #PrayForMadina”
A muslim would never bomb the second most holiest place in Islam. Terrorism has no religion #PrayForMadina— Nauman (@_naumanr) July 5, 2016
Muslims around the world have condemned the attack. muhammad tweeted: “I can't fathom how someone could even begin to associate Islam with such a repulsive group of people. #PrayForMadina”
I can't fathom how someone could even begin to associate Islam with such a repulsive group of people. #PrayForMadina— muhammad | מוחמד (@AKAMUHANNA) July 4, 2016
On Facebook the same hashtag #PrayForMadina has been used by people and groups to voice their sorrow and anger at the attack.
The page ‘The Carnival’ carried the message: “People of Pakistan condemn this coward act of terrorism in the holy month of Ramzan #SaudiArabia #PrayForMadinah.”
And US jazz musician Kurt Elling wrote on his Facebook page: “We are all in this fight together. #prayformadinah”
Meanwhile Yasmin Mohamed wrote on her Facebook page: “#PrayForMadinah so sad ending of Ramadan and innocent lives where taken before eid.”
The recent spate of attacks has prompted a large amount of Islamophobia. But Aaliyah tweeted: “How many Muslim countries have to get attacked before the world realises that terrorism has no religion? #PrayForMadina “
Maaria shares this view, adding: “One of the holiest cities on earth got attacked during Ramadan and people still think Muslim are terrorists? #PrayForMadina”
One of the holiest cities on earth got attacked during Ramadan and people still think Muslim are terrorists? #PrayForMadina— Maaria✨ (@__Shorttyx) July 4, 2016
Monday’s bombing on the Prophet’s mosque comes as communities around the world continue in their own grief, in Turkey, Iraq and further afield in places like Orlando.
@AliyeenNaseer tweeted: “We weren't yet over the loss of our Turkish brothers that we had to go through the Baghdad attack too and now suffering again #PrayForMadina”
We weren't yet over the loss of our Turkish brothers that we had to go through the Baghdad attack too and now suffering again #PrayForMadina— علئين نصير خان. (@AliyeenNaseer) July 4, 2016
It’s not been confirmed if the attacker was acting as part of a group or if they were operating on their own. But inevitably many are pointing the finger at ISIS as one of the more likely culprits behind the attack.
And it is not just Muslims who have reacted to the horror of the attack. Saitamaaa tweeted: “I'm not a muslim..but i will try pray for it.. #PrayForMadina”
Despite the relatively low death toll compared to other recent attacks, the fact that this one targeted Madina has rocked Muslims all over the world, who look upon this site as a place of great importance and beauty.
Ali Imdad tweeted: “As a Muslim you have no idea how painful this is to look at. Don't tell me terrorism has a religion. #PrayForMadina”