On Friday, March 15, 2019, at least 50 worshipers were killed and 50 more wounded by a shooter at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Just three days later, in Utrecht, Netherlands, a gunman opened fire on a tram in the predominantly Muslim neighborhood of Kanaleneiland. On the morning of March 4, Christian communities in three villages in Benue State in northern Nigeria were attacked by Muslim Fulani militants, which left some 23 people dead.
While motivations for the March 18 attack in Utrecht are yet to be determined, recent developments point to a possible terrorist attack. Motivations for the March 15 and March 4 attacks were both confirmed to be crimes motivated by hate.
These are the latest in an unfortunate wave of violence motivated by religious, cultural and political ideologies. Such violence reminds us that we as human beings are all of one body, and that such senseless expressions of hate does indeed injure our shared humanity. Muslim Americans for Compassion (MAC) condemns these acts of terrorism and encourages our world of many beautiful faith traditions and cultures to let compassion be the foundation of the precious time we share as one body on this planet.
On Saturday, March 16, 2019, several of Louisville’s faith and community leaders gathered in Jefferson Square Park to stand in support of Peace, Healing and Unity during these troubled times. The event, organized by Muslim Americans for Compassion, in partnership with Interfaith Paths to Peace and the Center for Interfaith Relations, drew hundreds of supporters. Lead by the peaceful music of John Gage, our local ambassadors of peace, including Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, Rabbi Beth Jacowitz Chottiner, Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary President Rev. Dr. Alton B. Pollard III, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, and several others, offered prayers, messages of hope and commitments to build peace in our world.
Please join in prayer and support for all who suffer at the hands of hate. Give us the strength to respectfully disagree with one another if we must, but do so with the sanctity of humanity as one of our core values. Ours is a world of many different faith traditions, cultures and ideologies. Let’s share the uniqueness that each brings to the table in the communal celebration of life.