March 15, 2019
We all woke up today to the horrifying news out of New Zealand. We are shaken.
Our hearts are broken.
We are mourning and standing with the victims and families impacted by this act of mass violence, and all our Muslim brothers and sisters worldwide. We offer our love, support, and solidarity.
White supremacy, xenophobia, and Islamophobia fueled the shooter’s attack, which killed 49 people in two mosques during Friday prayers in Christchurch.
As many of our community members in the US go to Friday prayers in their local mosques today, we encourage everyone to seek the support they need. We’ve included a list of mental health resources and community actions below.
Islamophobia and white supremacy are a global phenomenon. We know that Islamophobia and its ripple effects in the US are real and continue to deeply affect our communities’ safety and sense of belonging in the US. More than one in four hate violence incidents we documented in our Communities on Fire report were fueled by anti-Muslim sentiment.
We also know the power of the political bully pulpit is real, and has a real impact. Of the hate violence incidents we documented, one in five perpetrators invoked President Trump’s name, his administration’s policies, or his campaign slogans as they violently attacked our community members. We remain ever committed to fighting Islamophobia and white supremacy.
Suman Raghunathan, Executive Director of South Asian Americans Leading Together, said, “Houses of worship should be places of refuge and peace, not scenes of a massacre. We are standing with Muslim communities everywhere as the world mourns and we seek to keep our communities safe. As hard as it is not to cave into fear at times like these, we have no choice but to keep fighting against Islamophobia in all its forms.”