Hundreds of Muslims rally outside White House post-NZ attack

Published March 26, 2019
After Christchurch terror attacks, American Muslims are increasingly feeling the need to reach out to wider community. — Reuters/File
After Christchurch terror attacks, American Muslims are increasingly feeling the need to reach out to wider community. — Reuters/File

WASHINGTON: Hundreds of American Muslims and their supporters gathered outside the White House on Sunday to underline their dual identity as Muslims and Americans.

Shocked by the March 15 attack at a mosque in New Zealand that killed 50 worshippers, American Muslims are increasingly feeling the need to reach out to the wider community. “It made us realise that it’s not enough to continue to live in our comfort zones,” said Qazi Mannan, one of the organisers of the White House march. “We need to reach out to others and tell them who we actually are.”

The message was not lost on the larger American population.

Many visited mosques near their homes to express solidarity with their Muslim neighbours after the March 15 attack in New Zealand.

“You are welcome to live and worship here. You are loved as valued members of our community. May you never feel alone in the face of any adversary, for we stand with you,” said one of hundreds of messages placed outside mosques across the US.

Americans Christians, Jews, Sikhs and Hindus reached out to Muslim Americans, offering to jointly confront the hate and racism that in recent years has led to scores of attacks on religious institutions.

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, urged Catholics to pray for the victims of the shooting and work with Muslims to confront hate.

The American Jewish Committee said it was “appalled by the murderous assaults”, and called the attackers “racist individuals imbued with pure hatred” of Muslims. “The answer must be unity, solidarity, and linked arms against evil,” the statement added.

“This horrific recurring pattern and epidemic of hate must end. No community or faith should ever feel unsafe in their house of worship,” said Sikh Coalition executive director Satjeet Kaur.

A strong message also came from a non-religious group, the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, which has been fighting for equal rights for people of all colours and creed since 1909.

Published in Dawn, March 26th, 2019

Opinion

Editorial

Saudi investment
Updated 10 Apr, 2024

Saudi investment

The state has to address barriers that stand in the way of attracting foreign investment, and create a pro-business environment.
Charity for change
Updated 11 Apr, 2024

Charity for change

PAKISTANIS are large-hearted people who empty their pockets at the slightest hint of another’s need. The Stanford...
World Bank’s advice
Updated 09 Apr, 2024

World Bank’s advice

The next IMF programme will be far tougher than any other Pakistan has embarked on in the past.
Middle East heat
09 Apr, 2024

Middle East heat

America must communicate to Israel that further provocations, particularly targeting sovereign states, will be unacceptable.
Killing fields
09 Apr, 2024

Killing fields

PERHAPS rankled by the daily flood of grisly news — murders, armed robberies, muggings and kidnappings — and...