On March 15th, 2019, many of us woke up to news of a horrific attack on Muslim worshippers at the Linwood Mosque & Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand. This act of terror resulted in the murder of at least 49 people and 20 seriously injured. SAAPRI extends our sincere condolences and solidarity to the victims at Christchurch, their families, and Muslim and immigrant communities everywhere that have been shaken by this recent tragedy. SAAPRI strongly reiterates the need to renounce and combat Islamophobia and all forms of bigotry.
This attack reflects, once again, the growing number of white supremacist hate crimes in recent years. Although the victims of these crimes may be different and in different parts of the world, these attacks have been fueled by those who share a xenophobic ideology. We must see white supremacy as an attack on all communities of color, marginalized groups, and our right to exist in this world. There is no room for racial hatred or violent extremism.
On March 17th, 2019, SAAPRI and our partners came together at the Chicago Peace Vigil in support of the Christchurch community and committed to fighting hate in all corners of the world.
Throughout its history, SAAPRI has taken issues of hate crimes seriously, and it will continue this work as a part of its mission to advance policy in response to the South Asian and broader community’s needs. Previously, SAAPRI developed and helped pass anti-hate resolutions in the Illinois House and Chicago City Council as well as successfully advocated to the FBI to track hate crimes against Hindus, Sikhs, and Arabs. Last year, SAAPRI held a series of “Ahimsa” events that included dialogue around nonviolent approaches to combating injustice. Moving forward, SAAPRI will continue to work in cross-racial and interfaith coalitions to identify and combat hate in our society.
Thank you to all those who attended the vigil in support of the Christchurch community.