ECAJ Statement on first anniversary of Christchurch massacre and letter of appreciation from Australian National Imams Council
The passing of time has not diminished the outrage and revulsion felt across the Australian Jewish community by the wanton massacre of 51 innocent people and the wounding of an equal number of others while they were at prayer at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on 15 March 2019. The depth and brutality of the crime continue to weigh heavily on us.
We remember and honour the victims and their families and offer messages of peace and hope to all those who were affected by this horrific crime, which we have conveyed both personally and as an organisation to our friends in the Muslim communities in Australia.
This atrocity was spawned by a hate-filled ideology of racial supremacy and religious bigotry, which threatens the foundations of civilisation itself, and the bonds of our common humanity. If anyone failed to see that threat one year ago, they must surely see it now.
The global problems confronting humanity, including the current COVID-19 pandemic, affect us all, regardless of nationality, skin colour, religion, ideology, gender, sexual orientation or social class. Hatred can only divide and distract us, and thereby make us weaker and less well placed to overcome our common challenges. Co-operation and compassion strengthen us by giving us the sense of common purpose we need to survive, care for one another and flourish.
Times of crisis bring out some of the best and worst in people. The most fitting way we can commemorate what happened one year ago in Christchurch, and honour the victims, is to strive in the midst of adversity to bring out what is best in us.