Humanists condemn New Zealand attacks

Fifty more people are dead after an extremist walked through two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, gunning down people while they were saying their Friday prayers. The shooter's manifesto referenced (among others) Alexandre Bissonnette who was recently sentenced to life in prison for shooting up a Quebec mosque in January 2017.

It's hard to know what to say following this latest act of extreme far right violence, so here are some of the statements issued by other Humanist organizations around the world.

Humanist Society of New Zealand:

An attack of this nature is an attack on us all. We share a common humanity, and in a country as small as New Zealand we are all connected. Attacks of this nature and scale are not what we expect. New Zealand has no place for hate crimes and violence and any such actions must receive the strongest possible condemnation. Freedom of religion and belief and freedom of expression are fundamental human rights. Everyone should have the right to meet to express their religion or belief with safety and security.

Andrew Copson, Chief Executive of Humanists UK:

White nationalism is a major threat to our peace and freedom. Its adherents victimise and murder minorities like Jews and Muslims and they vilify and kill humanists and progressives, their ideological opponents, like the late Jo Cox MP or the young social democrats of Norway. Their numbers are growing across the western world and those of us who oppose their worldview must stand together and not be separated by the dynamo of hate.

American Humanist Association:

We are sickened and disheartened by the violence perpetuated on our fellow humans today in #NewZealandTerroristAttack at #ChristchurchMosque. We must continue to take seriously white supremacy because it continues to kill people.

American Ethical Union:

Hatred has consequences, and the atrocity in Christchurch should serve as a call to all of us to actively resist hatred in our own communities. We must condemn Islamophobia, the wicked insinuation that Islam is a uniquely dangerous and alien religion. We must condemn racist anti-immigrant rhetoric, which wrongly suggests that only a select class of people deserve respect, dignity, and protection. Muslims are full members of our human community and deserve a world in which their dignity is cherished. We at the American Ethical Union commit ourselves to working in solidarity with the victims wounded in these attacks and with the families of those who were killed to create such a world–a world in which today’s events would be unthinkable.

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