It's hard to express in words the great sadness and love we feel for these men who lost their lives as true martyrs--innocent worshipers killed because of their religious beliefs. We take comfort in the words of the Holy Qur'an for those who die in such a way:

"Think not of those who are slain in God's way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord; They rejoice in the bounty provided by God" (Surah Imran, Verse 169 to 170).

In the spirit of believing in justice and everlasting life for innocent victims, we pray that God grant their families and all of us

patience to endure and the strength to continue in good works.


Here at the Openhearted Campaign, we get a lot of requests from people asking how they can help, and what they can do to support the Muslim community here in Bloomington. This is a hard question to answer. There is no easy fix for Islamophobia.

There are simple ways to help, such as using our hashtag (#openhearted), donating $5, or writing letters and emails of support to Muslims in your community (many of which we have received and all of which we have immensely appreciated).

But combatting prejudice takes time. Giving support takes personal connection, which doesn’t develop overnight. These are things we all know, and yet, we still reach out to each other, hoping for change.

These days, the Muslim community shoulders harassment in the street. We open our phones to check a text and end up reading about the latest anti-Muslim hate crimes. We are faced with a #MuslimBan. Our mosques are lit on fire. We are shot while we are praying.

If you’ve been looking for the right moment to commit, it’s now. Take our pledge (, come to the Openhearted Open House at the Islamic Center of Bloomington (, and send us your resume because we need more volunteers on our staff. Commit to us by giving your time – not just for today or this week, but for as long as you can.

We all have a cause we believe in, something we fight for. If you’re ready to fight with us, we welcome you with open hearts.