This statement was shared with the community of Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, drafted by its clerk, Dana Reinhold. Monthly and quarterly meetings can share their statements about this tragedy and other issues on the PYM website; go to www.pym.org, scroll down and click on, “Add a New Story.”
Dear CPMM community,
We have felt hurt, sad and angry to learn of the hatred and religious-based violence targeted at Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand this week. As Quakers we denounce these acts of hatred and violence. We offer our support and love to all those affected by the violence, and to the Muslim faith community in Philadelphia. Our hearts grieve with you and for you.
And we cannot offer only prayers. This expression of hatred and violence reflects unhealed wounds that cloud the vision, preventing the recognition of that of God in each person. We each have wounds that may lead us to wish harm against others. We are challenged to search ourselves and our own lives. Against whom do I harbor any anger or hatred? Whose life and well-being do I not value, or treat with disregard? How can I seek to heal that within myself? Do I need to examine how I live to see how this promotes the conditions of inequality, racism, and prejudice that can lead some to feel fear and hatred toward others? What can I do to build loving community around the world?
As we meet in worship this First Day, let us hold our Muslim brothers and sisters around the world in our hearts and our prayers. Let us hold those who have killed out of fear and hatred in our hearts and our prayers. Let us also move forward into the work Spirit calls us to do in the world, building relationships.
We are invited to participate in an Interfaith vigil to mourn victims of the New Zealand mosque attacks, sponsored by Committee on American-Islamic Relations, tonight, March 16, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m., at JFK Plaza, and encouraged to bring candles.
Dana Reinhold, Clerk
Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting