We mourn the 49 lives violently taken at Al Noor mosque and Linwood Islamic Center in Christchurch, New Zealand. We extend our collective grief and send our deepest condolences to the families and community of those targeted in this attack.
And as we struggle through our grief, we recommit to dismantling the white supremacy and Islamophobia that motivated this massacre.
We must stop the culture of hate that fuels this violence. The 49 people killed on March 15th were families–parents, children and siblings. The gunman sought to dehumanize them and their community, but we will uplift them as the beloved individuals they were.
This shooting was not an isolated incident. We must see the connections: the gunman was radicalized by a rising, global movement of white supremacy that is anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, anti-woman, anti-LGBT and anti-Black. In the United States and around the world, we are witnessing a rise in violence against these communities. The same oppressive ideologies that fueled the attack on the Al Noor mosque also fueled the attacks at The Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburg, Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston and elsewhere.
The flames of Islamophobic and xenophobic hatred have been fanned by some of our own elected leaders. And too many others have remained silent bystanders. It’s time to call on our elected leaders to condemn the Islamophobia, racism, xenophobia, antisemitism, homophobia, transphobia and misogyny that together stoke of the fire of white supremacy.
But we can’t rely on our elected leaders alone to stem this tide of hate. We must come together to love and protect one another. Show up for Muslims in your community – not just in the days after this tragedy, but all year round.
Forward Together is committed to standing with our Muslim family in grief and action, and we offer this art as an act of love and support. Please share the art in your communities to inspire love and hope.
Eveline Shen, Executive Director