This morning I woke up and heard about the white supremacist terrorist attack in New Zealand – dozens of Muslim worshippers gunned down while peacefully praying to God. It is unexplainable, as are all terrorist attacks. Each time there is a shooting motivated by religious hatred, I ask God how all his messengers spread messages of peace and love, and now their followers are doing the opposite- sowing hate and violence? How are we supposed to understand this?
I also wonder how these white supremacists become the victims, when in fact they have been the ruling class of the world for hundreds of years. The white supremacist author of a manifesto issued prior to the attacks called himself a supporter of President Donald Trump, who he sees “as a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.” I wonder how these feelings of insecurity arise? I wonder how they think acts of violence can restore their self-esteem? I wonder what these terrorists saw as the “common purpose” that President Trump has re-awakened in them? Hundreds of families are in mourning- their lives shattered in an instant because of one man or a small group of people who decided that this is the way to redeem themselves, and reassert their race’s supremacy. It is so sad it breaks my heart. And of course, I will be interested to see if there will be a FB public image as there was other terrorist incidents uniting us all in sadness!
As we all go to mosques today for Friday prayers, we can only pray for the souls of the victims, and for their families to survive this horror. We must follow with action, which means bridging differences and dialoguing with people who are from other faiths and races. As we form melting pot societies (or salad bowl societies), we are all challenged to adopt and change. We should welcome that change as it cements the unity of human beings, the goodness we are capable of and the desire for all to live conflict-free and to their full potential. We must continue to hope that despite these tragic events, the noble human spirit will prevail, Inshallah (God Willing).