Center for Interfaith Cooperation

Hoosiers of Many Faiths in Community

CIC statement on the killing at mosques in Christchurch, NZ

INDIANAPOLIS, IN March 18, 2019
The Center for Interfaith Cooperation (CIC)
After a 75 minute prayer service and question and answer session, Imam Ahmed Al-Amine led traditional evening prayers for his congregation

We at the Center for Interfaith Cooperation are grief-stricken by the murder of at least 50 Muslims during Friday prayers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. “We send our deepest condolences to victims, their families, and the Muslim community in Christchurch and throughout the world,” said CIC Executive Director Charlie Wiles

Right now, we know little about the perpetrator of this crime, save that he was inspired by global language and examples of hatred and fear of “The Other” from around the world. His social media posts were adorned with symbols of white nationalism seen throughout Europe and North America. He name-checks many of the worst hate-killers of the past decade. We know that the rhetoric of exclusion and dehumanization has local implications. Here we see that rhetoric rippling into actions across the globe, which we believe makes it all the more imperative to stand against hate-filled speech, wherever it occurs.

Global ripples go both ways, however. A terrible act of hatred and intolerance in Christchurch can strengthen communities and mutual understanding here in Central Indiana. It contributes to a sense of urgency to learn, talk, and share about “The Other.” We all have several chances to engage productively with Muslims. Take advantage of the opportunities:

  • A vigil for the Christchurch victims at Butler University’s Star Fountain (4600 Sunset Ave.) Thursday March 21, 7:30-9:00 pm.
  • An Islamic Cultural Extravaganza, Saturday March 23, 12:00-2:00 pm, at the Central Library. This will be a great event for kids. Renowned inspirational singer Imam Wilmore Sadiki will perform, as well as several local youth dance groups and story teller Khabir Shareef.
  • Ibtihaj Muhammad is an Olympic fencing medalist who in 2016 was the first American to compete in the Olympics wearing a hijab. She will be at Butler University Monday March 25, 7:00-9:00 pm.
  • Muslim Day at the Statehouse. Join the community as they explain to state legislators their fears and policy dreams. Wednesday March 27, 9:00 am – 12:30 pm at the Indiana Statehouse (Indiana Statehouse 200 W Washington St.)
  • The Fishers Multi-Faith Community for Compassion provides a chance to talk with people of many faiths, including Muslims. Their next monthly meeting is March 28, 8:30-10:00 am at the Fishers Original Pancake House (8395 E 116th St, Ste 145, Fishers).

In the coming weeks, mosques, synagogues, and churches will invite members of other religious traditions to commemorations of the tragedy of Christchurch, as well as discussions of how they can be prevented here in Central Indiana. Go to these events! Even better, bring along a friend who would not normally attend multi-faith conversations. We believe that is the best way to pay tribute to our fallen sisters and brothers in New Zealand.

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