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March 15, 2019

[PRESS RELEASE] Emgage Statement on the Mosque Shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 15, 2019

Emgage Statement on the Mosque Shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand

Washington, D.C. – We are horrified and saddened by the terrible news from New Zealand today regarding the attack against two Muslim congregations in Christchurch. According to eye witnesses, at least one man dressed in black entered one of the mosques, Masjid al-Noor, during Friday prayers and opened fire on worshippers. Another close by mosque, the Linwood Masjid, was also targeted. Police have confirmed that several people have died and that three men and one woman are in custody. 

This massacre, if proven to be a premediated attack against Muslims, makes it critical that we confront hate and bigotry in all of its forms. Islamophobia is on the rise globally and right here at home, which has accompanied the rise of populist, fascist, and neo-Nazis parties and ideology. All too often, some of our leaders turn a blind eye to and even use anti-Muslim rhetoric themselves. For the third year in a row, the FBI reported an increase in hate crimes in America, including historically high rates of hate crimes against Muslims. 

“We stand firm in condemning those who trade in hate at the expense of ethnic and religious minorities, and demand that federal and state agencies engage the Muslim American community more seriously to bolster the security of mosques and affiliated properties. We also call upon our elected leaders and media to not tolerate nor give a platform to those who use hate speech against Muslims or any other group.

Our thoughts and prayers are with those who lost their lives or were injured in the attack, as well as their families and loved ones, “ said Wa’el Alzayat, Emgage CEO. 

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For more information, please contact Wa’el Alzayat at walzayat@emgageusa.org.

Emgage educates and empowers Muslim Americans through educational events, voter initiatives, and leadership development for the purpose of creating a community of knowledgeable, motivated, and impactful citizens. Emgage seeks to transform the Muslim American electorate into an active and impactful community