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 celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. Founded in 1994, Interfaith Alliance brings together members from 75 faith traditions as well as those without a faith tradition to protect faith and freedom. For more information visit interfaithalliance.org.