WASHINGTON, DC — The following is a statement from Muslim Advocates Executive Director Farhana Khera on the deadly mass shootings at two mosques in New Zealand:
“A house of worship is a sacred place for people of all faiths. It is an unspeakable tragedy to see two mosques be so horrifically violated. In the wake of this heartbreaking, anti-Muslim mass slaughter, it is clear that more needs to be done to protect Muslims and all vulnerable communities from the very real dangers posed by hate and white nationalists. Thoughts and prayers are simply an inadequate response to this horrific attack. It is time for President Trump, elected officials, law enforcement and tech companies to act.
- It is not enough for President Trump to merely send thoughts and prayers. The President called neo-nazis and white nationalists ‘very fine people.’ This hate-filled murderer drew inspiration from Trump, and the white nationalist movement has celebrated Trump’s words and policies. The President needs to immediately and unequivocally condemn and disavow this attacker and the white nationalist movement.
- Elected officials and law enforcement must do more to protect our community and all Americans from the white nationalist threat by calling on FBI Director Christopher Wray to prioritize the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of right-wing, white nationalist violence—the most significant threat to public safety in our nation today.
- Social media platforms and tech companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google need to do much more to detect and shut down online hate content. The New Zealand shooter was able to livestream a 17-minute video of his murderous rampage that continues to spread like wildfire online. This is flatly unacceptable. Tech companies must take all steps possible to prevent something like this from happening again. Further, hate groups have long used platforms like Facebook to organize, spread their violent messages and build their membership online. Facebook needs to do more to remove these hate groups before they inspire even more harm.
With historic levels of hate crimes motivated by anti-Muslim bigotry in recent years here in the U.S., American Muslims have sadly been through so much. I am so proud of our resilience and strength. We will not allow this attack or this hate movement to prevent us from going about our daily lives, including attending our houses of worship and engaging with our communities. Together, with allied Americans of faith and goodwill, we will persevere and we will defeat hate.”
Muslim Advocates is a national civil rights organization working in the courts, in the halls of power and in communities to halt bigotry in its tracks. We ensure that American Muslims have a seat at the table with expert representation so that all Americans may live free from hate and discrimination.