Following the terrorist attacks on mosques in New Zealand, Rabbi Jack Moline, president of Interfaith Alliance, released the following statement expressing condolences for the victims and condemning the hate-motivated violence and Islamophobia that spurred on the attack:
“Our hearts are again shattered for the lives lost and the families destroyed by violence and hatred.
“The act that robbed Christchurch of 49 community members and loved ones, and seriously injured at least 20, didn’t come out of nowhere. The violent hatred against Muslims and immigrants that led to the loss of life in New Zealand is the same as the hatred that killed people at a youth camp in Norway in 2011, at a mosque in Quebec City two years ago and in a synagogue in Pittsburgh just last October. It’s the same hatred that led white nationalists to march through the streets of Charlottesville shouting ‘Jews will not replace us.’ And it’s the same hatred perpetuated by leaders around the world, including the President of the United States and those close to him.
“Islamophobia is a deadly problem that must be addressed directly. And we must not cast it aside as a Muslim problem or after the attack in Christchurch a New Zealand problem. It is a problem affecting each and every one of us. Proponents of white nationalism and supremacy aggressively tie anti-Muslim bigotry to anti-Semitism, racism, homophobia, sexism and all brands of hatred and violence — and consider them all virtues. As Wajahat Ali says, they constitute a ‘white ISIS.’
“Lives taken and terror generated are the markers of success for white nationalists. People of good will must speak out against white nationalism long before acts of physical violence are committed and we must continue speaking out long after.“
Interfaith Alliance is a network of people of diverse faiths and beliefs from across the country working together to build a resilient democracy and fulfill America’s promise of religious freedom and civil rights not just for some, but for all. We mobilize powerful coalitions to challenge Christian nationalism and religious extremism, while fostering a better understanding of the healthy boundaries between religion and government. We advocate at all levels of government for an equitable and just America where the freedoms of belief and religious practice are protected, and where all persons are treated with dignity and have the opportunity to thrive. For more information visit interfaithalliance.org.