Washington, D.C. | www.mpac.org | March 15, 2023 — On this day, four years ago, 51 people were killed, and another 40 injured, in a mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. As we remember the victims and their loved ones, we are once again reminded that the fight against anti-Muslim hate is far from over.
Following this tragedy, the United Nations commemorated March 15th as the UN’s International Day to Combat Islamophobia. This day serves as a touchpoint to consider and learn about the hate, bigotry, and harassment Muslims, and those perceived to be Muslim, face around the world. While we pause to remember the 51 innocent people murdered in the Christchurch shooting, we also keep in mind those that face Islamophobia– in its many forms– on a daily basis.
At home in the U.S. and across Europe, extremist ideologies like the Great Replacement Theory continue to serve as inspiration for hate crimes and anti-Muslim policies. Right wing politicians continue to scapegoat Muslim immigrants, and some have even gone as far as to put restrictions on what Muslim women can and can’t wear. In India, China, and Myanmar, Muslim minority populations continue to face violence, forced “internment”, and worse– all under national leaders that explicitly or implicitly condone these violations of human rights.
Within the U.S. and abroad, the freedom to practice our faith belongs to each of us. MPAC condemns all acts of Islamophobia and will continue advocating for a future free from such hate. However, we know this work will not be accomplished alone. We call on faith leaders, politicians, educators, and communities everywhere to bring awareness to this growing trend. United, we can combat religious and racially motivated hate wherever it may appear.