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Clerk’s Statement on the Mosques Attacks in New Zealand

On behalf of New Brunswick Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) I wish to express our profound grief over the murderous attacks on two Islamic mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 16, 2019 in which fifty people were killed and fifty others were wounded.

Less than a year and a half ago, eleven members of the Jewish community in Pittsburgh were killed while at worship in their synagogue. Two years ago, six people were killed and many more injured at a mosque in Quebec City. A little less than three years ago, nine members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC were murdered during a prayer service.

All these attacks were perpetrated by men devoted to the hate-filled ideologies of racism and cultural and religious intolerance for the purpose of terrorizing the targeted groups and attracting new adherents to the white supremacist movement.

We are grieved, and even angered, that our Muslim brothers and sisters, along with our brothers and sisters in other faith communities victimized by hate and violence, must be concerned for their safety while meeting in worship and prayer. We commit ourselves to countering the hate and intolerance that leads to such acts of murderous violence. We urge our government to take bold action against the rising power of hate groups and our police forces to increase their concern and vigilance around the safety of all places of public worship.

We stand in solidarity with Muslims and all other faith communities who, like us, use prayer, meditation, and worship as a pathway to peace and harmony in ourselves, in our families, and in the wider world. We pray that through the actions of all people of good will, hate and violence will diminish, and the safety and security of our communities will increase.

We commit ourselves to calling out Islamophobia, racism, and all forms of hate speech in a way that is designed to promote the path of greater understanding, empathy, and inclusion for all people in the communities where we live.

Vincent Zelazny

Clerk, New Brunswick Quaker Meeting