We are beyond devastated to hear about the most recent terrorist attack in New Zealand and mourn with our Muslim brothers and sisters worldwide, especially the loved ones of the people killed and injured in the two Christchurch mosques. This senseless act of violent racism and Islamophobia is yet another manifestation of what has become a global movement of hate and white supremacy. We must, now more than ever, lean into our collective strength and stand against the unprecedented rise in attacks against immigrants, Muslims, and other minority groups.
As an organization of many faiths united in our desire to see a just world, we stand in solidarity and repudiate the horrible violence that has taken place. However, it is not enough to just repudiate the violence of guns and bullets and bombs. Physical violence is born of the seeds of racism, bigotry, and hatred. So, we must stand in the face of violence in any form––words, stereotypes, and fear mongering.
We issue a call to action for all people to confront hate in every form and in every place it lurks, including within ourselves. Confront it not with more violence but with our great and overpowering love. We must see in each person––no matter how different from ourselves––the image of God and the human dignity that we all bear. Just as Isaac and Ishmael came together to bury Abraham in the Hebrew Bible, so are we all called to treat one another as kindred and to join together in grief and in commitment to building a more loving world. In doing so, we can help create healing that goes beyond just offering our thoughts and prayers, and actually change our community to make a place where people can truly feel and be safe.