This morning: 49 dead, 48 hospitalized from a mass shooting and attack on two mosques in Christchurch in Aotearoa (New Zealand). White supremacists planned and carried out the attacks. The gunman live-streamed the carnage.
In-depth coverage of the incident from Democracy Now. The commentaries from Qasim Rashid, a lawyer and human rights activist, and Farid Hafez, a lecturer and researcher at the University of Salzburg, are extremely important.
This is the latest horror to require a repudiating response and a strong call to action and solidarity from activist allies who oppose Islamophobia, structural and personal racism, anti-Semiticism, anti-immigration hate, and so on. (Have any of us done enough? I know I haven’t.)
Here are two opinion pieces just published in The Guardian.
“After Christchurch, Muslims need more than just your thoughts and prayers” by
Masuma Rahim, a clinical psychologist. A quote from her editorial piece:
“Your thoughts and prayers will not save our lives, while the actions of politicians and the media undoubtedly destroy them.
Every single day, people like me are subject to a media onslaught. Every single day, we are demonised, both by the people who make our laws and by the people who have significant influence over public opinion. And when I say “we”, I don’t just mean Muslims. Because it’s not just Muslims who are losing their lives at the hands of far-right nationalism. It’s Jews and Sikhs and black people. Because when fascism comes to call, it usually doesn’t care what shade of “different” you are. All it knows is that you are different, and it does not like you for it.”
And from H.A. Hellyer, a senior associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, “The Islamophobia that led to the Christchurch shooting must be confronted.” A quote from this editorial piece:
“Today is Friday. It is the day of the week when Muslims will gather all around the world in communitarian prayer. Many of them in the west will be fearful after seeing the news, worried that this attack may herald a new, ongoing threat to their safety. We have to make sure they know they are not alone. That wider society will stand by them. That we see them not as Muslim communities transplanted into the west, but as Muslim communities of the west. They are part of us, and we of them. If we do otherwise, and we allow this event to pass us by without recognising the ideas that propelled it, then it is only a matter of time before it is repeated.”
I am not sure how to make an impact in my own community. Does Lake County, CA have a mosque? I can’t seem to discover one. Otherwise I would call and ask what I can do, as a fellow citizen, to show meaningful support or action.
Making a donation to some other organization is at least one way to help. Here are two possibilities. I have just donated to both.
ICNA Council for Social Justice (Islamic Circle of North America).
Finally, a statement from The Troth, an organization that promotes inclusive Heathenry.
This is important as the murderer made a comment about “going to Valhalla” which may indicate a link with neo-nazis who usurp Norse symbols and mythology to justify white supremacy, as the original nazis did.
Sorrow for the families. May the murdered rest in peace. May the cancer of white supremacy and violence be vanquished. May our merciful deities assist us to do much more than we are doing now.