Today’s Violence in New Zealand a Horrific Example of the Consequences of Islamophobia and White Supremacy

March 15, 2019

Hayley Burgess, [email protected], 202-805-0375

Today’s Violence in New Zealand a Horrific Example of the Consequences of Islamophobia and White Supremacy

LOS ANGELES — At least 49 Muslim worshippers were killed this morning in an act of mass violence perpetrated by a white supremacist in Christchurch, New Zealand. The attack has been condemned by domestic and global leaders.

Marielena Hincapié, executive director at the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“Our hearts ache for the friends and families of the victims, and for the global Muslim community. The Muslim community in New Zealand was attacked in what should be a safe place for all: the sanctuary of a religious space. This act of mass violence, rooted in Islamophobia and xenophobia, has been rightly condemned by many global leaders. Sadly, some of our own domestic leaders have fanned the flames of Islamophobia and white supremacy for far too long and in ways that are replicated across the globe.

“The fear and hatred espoused by domestic and foreign policymakers has direct and devastating consequences. We have already seen far too many examples of violent white supremacists who have felt empowered to carry out heinous attacks because of hateful and xenophobic rhetoric from those in power. These attacks have occurred in other places of worship, like the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and at peaceful gatherings like the 2017 rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Today, as we mourn this tragic loss, we must remember that we all — especially leaders in positions of power — have a moral obligation to stand with our neighbors and reject Islamophobia and white supremacy in any form.

“In times of such heartbreaking tragedy, we must come together with even more strength and determination. We must denounce white nationalism and supremacy in all its forms. No one should fear for their safety when attending their house of worship or simply because of the way they look or how they pray. We at NILC stand in solidarity with our Muslim allies, and we will continue to fight tirelessly for dignity for all.”