March 15, 2019, LONDON — At Dialogue Society our hearts are broken in light of the devastating terrorist attack on the Muslim community in Christchurch, New Zealand. For Muslims a Mosque does not merely represent a sacred place of worship, it is a place of gathering for the whole community – Muslim or not. The violation of both religious freedoms and the social bonds of community in this heinous act of terrorism is deeply saddening. Such an act can only be described, as did Prime Minister Jacinda Arden, as New Zealand’s “darkest days”.
The rise of hate crime and faith-oriented discrimination, specifically anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, is a fundamental threat to the peace and tranquillity of our society. We would like to emphasise that any form of terrorism cannot be justified, by any reason and should not be condoned by any group. We must not allow those who commit acts of terrorism or violent extremism to succeed in their attempt to spread fear and division.
Dialogue Society calls for all communities to be resolute in both interfaith and community cohesion activities. We have to unite against those who commit terrorist actions, regardless of their so-called justifications, motivations or ideology.
As a Muslim-led grassroots organisation based in the UK, we would like to extend our prayers to our Muslim brothers and sisters in New Zealand. May Allah grant patience to the surviving victims and their family in this difficult time.
Dialogue Society supports the New Zealand Council of Victim Support Group’s fundraising efforts, and would like to call upon our volunteers to donate Christchurch Shooting Victims’ Fund:
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Note to Editors
The Dialogue Society was established in London in 1999 by British Muslims of Turkish background who were inspired by the teachings and example of Fethullah Gülen. It aims to promote dialogue and advance social cohesion by connecting communities through discussion forums, courses, capacity building publications and outreach. The Dialogue Society is not a religious or ethnic organisation but rather aims to facilitate dialogue on a whole range of social issues, regardless of any particular faith or religion. It stands for democracy, human rights, the non-instrumentalisation of religion in politics, equality and freedom of speech. For more information, see: www.dialoguesociety.org.