“They are us.” These were the words of New Zealand’s Prime Minister today, in reaction to the horrific attacks and murders of 49 people at prayer in two mosques.
They are indeed us. We have been there, as have our Christian brothers and sisters. Churches, synagogues, and mosques have been the targets of hate. The perpetrators? They are almost exclusively young, white men who for some inexplicable reason think they are threatened.
What makes these attacks even more incomprehensible is that they target people when they are at prayer, probably the most peaceful activity that humans engage in.
Elie Wiesel famously said that the opposite of hate is not love, it is indifference. We cannot be indifferent when others are attacked for their beliefs. Just as Muslim communities across our nation stood in solidarity with us last fall when the Tree of Life Synagogue was attacked, we must stand with them.
They are us.