THEY ARE US!
The Interfaith Peace Project joins with the brokenhearted peoples of the World to express our sympathy and love to all our Muslim Sisters and Brothers. The horrific killings and violence against the Muslim community of New Zealand is a call to action on the part of the World community. We can no longer tolerate the self-righteous nationalism that compromises the value of another person’s life and well-being. We can no longer endure the politics of hate that excludes and compromises the dignity and humanity of other peoples because they are “different”. The blood of those slaughtered and injured in Christchurch, New Zealand, cries out for that justice that will eradicate hate from the face of the Earth.
The violence experienced in New Zealand reverberates throughout the World. This was an attack on all people who would live in peace with a respect for others. Now is the time for religious institutions and leaders to examine their own teachings and hearts seeking an end to violence in all its forms. Long before weapons kill and injure people, the violence of our thoughts and words compromises the safety and security of others.
National and World leaders of every kind must provide the example and the policies by which we live on Earth as a Family of peoples in a neighborhood of Nations. The idea that each Nation must only be concerned with its own progress is not only foolish but dangerous. Policies that favor one Nation against another make no sense in a global World.
The violence that struck the people of Islam, the terror that broke the heart of New Zealand, remind us that we must live in this World as one human family. We are all responsible for one another.
Dedicate yourself today to reach out to our Muslim Neighbors to not only express your sympathy and outrage but to pledge to stand in solidarity with them each and every day. In the aftermath of the killings in Pittsburgh, the community coined a mantra to live by: “We are stronger than hate.”
As our hearts continue to break, we call upon all of you to respond with a love that is stronger than hate, with a care for others that is stronger than hate, with a justice that is stronger than hate, with a conviction that is stronger than hate.
Let us call to mind the words of the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, as she sought to comfort her grieving Nation:
What has happened in Christchurch is an extraordinary act of unprecedented violence. It has no place in New Zealand. Many of those affected will be members of our migrant communities – New Zealand is their home – they are us.
“They are us!” Sometimes in the darkest moment the light does shine. The next time your meet someone you think does not belong recite the mantra, “They are us!”
Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
with The Board of Directors and all of us at
The Interfaith Peace Project