We must unite to overcome hate

The Muslim community has been inundated with an outpouring of love, sympathy, support and condolence in the wake of New Zealand shooting.

This massacre was carried out in two mosques in the country whose Muslims are a peaceful, loving community and small in number. This terrorist attack was the most heinous crime committed on New Zealand soil and it has stunned the whole world. Large numbers of emails, cards, flowers, etc. have been sent to Islamic centers to show solidarity in our grief. Members of other faith-based communities are standing shoulder to shoulder with Muslims against bigotry, intolerance and injustice wherever they may be.

White supremacy movements are on the rise, according to world news. Those taking a position about immigration laws, racial divisions and religious beliefs are becoming more vocal. These groups have existed through generations and decades and continue to grow in the current political climate.

Hate has no religion or race. Too often a terrorist act has been condemned and blame has been placed on the perpetrator’s religious beliefs. These individuals or groups act on their own with no thought as to the devastating effect on the communities or the world.

Mosques, churches, synagogues and temples have all become a target of hate. Intolerance has changed how we see the world. We need to unite in a call to action for all people to live in peace and condemn these kinds of acts in the strongest terms possible.

We hold these victims of the most recent attack in New Zealand in our prayers along with their families and all of those affected. We really appreciate everyone’s well wishes.

The Clinton Islamic Center held their prayer for the victims on March 15 after Friday prayer, joined by members of the Sisters of St. Francis, while in the Quad-Cities a vigil was held on Sunday, March 17, at the Islamic Center in Moline, Illinois.

Dr. Anis Ansari,

Clinton Islamic center