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UUSC Grieves the Loss of 49 People in Act of Hate

The attack on mosques in New Zealand resembles other recent atrocities driven by xenophobia, racism, and religious persecution.

By UUSC Staff on March 15, 2019

This morning, we woke to the heartbreaking truth that 49 people have been killed today, and many others injured, in an attack on two mosques in New Zealand. We join with the families and communities most impacted in grieving the loss of so many innocent people, including young children. The attack occurred during the religious observance of Friday prayers, targeting Muslim families and individuals because of the faith they practice.

Early reports indicate that the attack was a deliberate act of hate, motivated by white nationalist ideology. Today’s shooting resembles other recent atrocities driven by xenophobia, racism, and religious persecution. These tragic events remind us that Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and white nationalism are inherently deadly ideologies, which drive toward the logic of mass murder and genocide.

We call upon the world’s leaders to extend condolence and solidarity to the families of the people killed, their communities, and the people of New Zealand. We also demand they use this opportunity to reject and oppose all ideologies of racial and religious supremacy that harm our communities. When hatred is legitimated rather than disavowed at the highest levels of power, the consequences fall upon the innocent.

We ask our leaders to do all in their power to ensure that no one is ever made to live in fear because of who they are, the faith they practice, or the communities to which they belong. We find meaning and solace today in the words of an English interpretation of the Qur’an, which remind us: Whoever kills one person, it is as if they killed all humanity; and whoever saves a life, it is as if they had saved all humankind.

Photo Credit: Unsplash – Zoran Kokanovic

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