Inna lillahi wa inna ilahi raji’un
Translation: From God we come and to God we return.
This morning, we woke up to the horrifying and heart-breaking news of terrorist attacks on two New Zealand mosques. Our hearts are with the communities of Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in this time of traumatic shock and unimaginable grief. The violent claiming of 49 lives, the indiscriminate attacks on people of all ages during a time of community worship, and the deliberate choice to broadcast these attacks in real-time is one of the most reprehensible violations of human dignity.
We on the DRUUMM Steering Committee pray and mourn with our siblings in New Zealand. The 49 lives lost, and the dozens more that will never be the same, are the latest known victims of the violent cost of the white supremacist, Islamophobic, and anti-immigrant vitriol that has become increasingly institutionalized and sanctioned by those in political power. We are angry and grieving this latest instance of the ongoing harm caused by racism and xenophobia that is so regularly inflicted on black and brown, immigrant, and Muslim lives.
We on the DRUUMM Steering Committee pray and mourn with our Muslim siblings all around the world, and especially in nations where Islamophobia and anti-immigrant rhetoric is on the rise, not the least of which is the United States. We know that to move through the world as a black and/or brown person is to move without the guarantee of safety and security. To have a place of sanctuary, community, and worship desecrated by the sin of white supremacy is a trauma that exacerbates this reality and fear. We bear witness to the pain that this white supremacist terrorist act has also caused our UU-Muslim and UU-adjacent Muslim siblings, many of whom are part of the spiritual struggle to stop the spread of xenophobic violence. And we recognize that for Muslims who are not part of a mosque or community, this fear is potentially intensified by isolation. We see you and we love you.
In this time of grief, shock, and ongoing violence against black, brown, immigrant, and Muslim lives and communities, we hold our beloved siblings at Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in our hearts. In this time of global mourning and prayer for the lives lost and traumatized, we call upon our Unitarian Universalist siblings to put that prayer into faith-rooted, committed actions. Should you choose to reach out to any Muslim and/or immigrant individuals and/or communities, use this time not only to react to the violence they encounter, but to build a long-lasting relationship that collaborates in preventing it from happening again.
We lift up the words and prayer of our ancestor, Jamaican Unitarian Minister, Rev. Egbert Ethelred Brown:
“As we face a troubled and puzzled world, we too are troubled and puzzled. As our fond dreams remain unrealized and our bright hopes of yesterday wither in the bitter disappointments of today, our courage fails, our spirits droop, our faith trembles, and, frustrated, we bow our heads in despair.
Nevertheless, we come to God in this hour…
As we pray for peace in our time, O God, may we ourselves be at peace with the world, with ourselves, and with Thee. May we know that without love there will never be peace. Teach us therefore to love. What does this world need more than love?”
Amen, Ashe, Amin.
Rev. Ranwa Hammamy & Sana Saeed
DRUUMM Steering President & Co-Vice President
DRUUMM Steering Committee
Rev. Theresa Soto, Janell Hill, William Lester, Rhiannon Smith, Tyler Coles, Kaitlin Dey, Noel Burke, Kia Bordner, Ben Gabel