The U.S. is no stranger to discrimination against Muslims. Here’s how you can fight back.
“Hello, brother.” Those were the words that a Muslim man said to a gunman before he was shot to death at the Al Noor mosque in New Zealand on Friday.
The gunman, an avowed white supremacist, went on to kill at least 49 others in a horrific attack on two mosques in the city of Christchurch during Friday prayers, a weekly tradition for those who practice Islam.
While the attack on Muslims may have been an unprecedented show of hate for New Zealand, the gunman’s Islamophobia is hauntingly familiar in the U.S.
In December, a woman in Dallas attacked a Muslim woman and told her to “go back to [her] country.” A month later, four people in upstate New York were charged with plotting to attack a Muslim community with explosives. Last April, three white militiamen in Kansas were charged with planning to bomb a Somali community’s apartment building.
That’s why now is as important as ever for people of all faiths to speak out against hate and violence against Muslims, according to Catherine Osborne. Osborne is a Christian and the campaign director for Shoulder to Shoulder, an interfaith coalition against Islamophobia in the U.S.
“Silence is action, in and of itself,” Osborne said of the response to Friday’s massacre in New Zealand. “Choosing not to speak out is an action that somebody is choosing to take.”