Reject violence, affirm life

3/29/2019, 6 a.m.
Words fail to express the depth of our sorrow at the horrific violence against the Muslim community at the Al …

Words fail to express the depth of our sorrow at the horrific violence against the Muslim community at the Al Noor and Linwood Mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Faced yet again with an act of hate-fueled, anti-religious and racist violence in a place of worship, the Standing Together Steering Committee of the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities recognizes such acts strike at the heart of our shared humanity. We reaffirm our unwavering commitment to stand in solidarity with the Muslim community in Christchurch and around the world.

As we gather to denounce hatred, reject violence and comfort friends and neighbors, we are reminded of the collective work we must continue in order to make our society and world more just, inclusive and affirmative of all human life. We refuse to be silent while racist and anti-religious violence continues to spread across our nation and world. The lives of innocent members of our human family at Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.; Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh; Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek; and Al Noor and Linwood Mosques in Christchurch call us to work tirelessly to eradicate all forms of racism and religious bigotry.

To stand in solidarity in the face of grotesque violence and human pain means to share a deep commitment to practice hospitality and pursue justice in affirming the inherent worth, value and dignity of all people, cultures and religious traditions. This is who we are and what it means to be people of faith who choose to stand together.

Once again, we call on all members of our community to take our heartbreak, our shock, our anguish and channel it into the concrete action that visions and builds a just, inclusive world where people practice their faith, share their culture, practice their religious tradition and live and exist as their authentic selves in peace.

We firmly believe that when we stand together in deep solidarity, we can transform our world.


Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities


Rev. Molly Bosscher, Dr. Imad Damaj, Rev. Dr. Alex Evans, Ms. Anne Gibbons, Rabbi Michael Knopf, Rev. Rachel May, Dr. Archana Pathak, Dr. Ravi Perry, Rev. Amy Russell, Dr. Corey D.B. Walker and Mr. Jonathan Zur