'I’m making myself strong': This young Muslim is rejecting hate by wearing a hijab for the first time

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For many people in Christchurch, the time after the mosque shootings has been full of fear. But these young Muslims are choosing to reject hate by reaffirming their beliefs.

It’s been less than a week since a gunman opened fire on two mosques, claiming the lives of 50 people.

But amongst the grief, a group of young Muslims are choosing to use to attack to reaffirm their rejection of terror - and to embrace their religion .

Rejecting fear

21-year-old Fay Elhanafy was called to identify bodies of loved ones at Christchurch hospital following the attack.

“I was seeing people covered in blood, bullets all over their bodies,” Elhanafy told The Feed’s Patrick Abboud.

“After the attack, I had this sense of fear in my heart that was telling me I shouldn’t be telling people I’m a Muslim.”

Instead of giving into this fear Elhanafy, who up until now hasn’t worn a headscarf, went to a friends house and asked to borrow a hijab.

“I was thinking what if I was walking down the street with a hijab on and someone had a weapon and is trying to shoot at me, what’s going to happen to me which way am I gonna run...?” says Elhanafy

“That’s exactly how I thought other Muslim women who wear the hijab would be feeling.

“So I woke up this morning and decided to put it on to be in support of them and to show my support for all of my Muslim community.”

Fay
The Feed

Stronger together

Elhanafy isn’t the only young Muslim choosing to more openly show their support for their community.
28-year-old Ahmad Wali Khan’s best friend died in his arms.

They were both praying at the Linwood mosque when the gunman opened fire.

Ahmad is not just a survivor, but a superhero. He attempted to bring the attacker down.

“At one point he dropped his gun, so I ran for the gun but he started shooting at me again. I was just a metre away from getting it. I wanted to save my Muslim brothers and sisters,” he told Patrick Abboud.

Ahmad has now also made the decision to wear traditional dress so people know what he represents.

“I changed the way I dress cause I’m just showing that hey I’m a Muslim and I’m proud to be a Muslim,” Wali Khan told The Feed.

“I’m still gonna go to the same mosque as soon as its open. I’m never gonna change anything about my identity.”

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