I was shocked when news of the massacre at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand broke. But I was also not shocked. Why is it that I had that feeling? Why is it that these attacks are becoming more of our everyday life? Why are we letting hate win?
We are all the same. No matter the faith.
Having friends who are Muslim, it sickened me to see this attack and the reciprocal reaction on social media, some even from fellow Canadians saying “they had it coming.”
Even the Canadian Yellow Vest movement’s own Facebook page had comments celebrating the New Zealand attacks.
How do you celebrate something so heinous? Something against your fellow man, women, and children? Something that left 50 people who were at a mosque for prayer. It riles me up.
In Australia, news anchor Waleed Aly, a Muslim himself who co-hosts a news and current affairs show The Project, stood up and spoke poignant words that struck me and have stayed with me since I first saw his video in the hours after it went viral. I applaud him for speaking his words. It definitely is something that would not have been easy, and from seeing his speech you could tell how much emotion went into it.
Aly told viewers he felt an “overwhelming sense of responsibility” to speak about the violence. He then described the fear he felt in response to the attack and the lack of shock it happened at all given repeated similar incidents and the language used recently by politicians to “demonize particular groups.”
“While I appreciate the words our leaders have said today … I have something to ask. Don’t change your tune now because the terrorism seems to be coming from a white supremacist. If you’ve been talking about being tough on terrorism for years and the communities that allegedly support it, then show us how tough you are now,” he said in the video.
“Now we understand that this is not a game, terrorism doesn’t choose its victims selectively, that we are one community and everything we say to try and tear people apart, demonize particular groups, set them against each other — that all has consequences, even if we’re not the ones with our fingers on the trigger.”
That last line has stuck with me since I heard it. It’s so true. We are all one. We need to stand as one and not let the hatred in the world win.
Let’s make it part of our daily life to be kind, helpful, and let’s have more peace and love.
Hate has no place in this world.
- Pat Healey