Prayer for Action in the Wake of the Attack on Muslims in Christchurch

Last Friday’s attack on Muslims in two mosques as they prayed in Christchurch, New Zealand, was a shocking act of hatred and terror that desecrates all that we hold as is holy and sacred.

We stand together in support and solidarity with the Muslim community around the world as they grieve this horrific loss of life, and we grieve with them.

We must mourn and we must act, taking hands across boundaries, and calling for moral leadership from all sectors of our world. Many hundreds of people in Boulder, Colorado joined an interfaith prayer vigil on Sunday March 17 at the Islamic Center of Boulder. I was deeply moved by the number of community members that showed up in solidarity for the souls of our Muslim friends. I'm sharing below some excerpts from my speech at the vigil.

The prophet Jeremiah said: Shifchi kaMayim libech nochach Pnei Adonai. Pour out your heart like water before God's Holy presence. God is listening. Don't hold back. Let your tears join in a common stream over the wanton destruction of life; let your tears join into one river of grief for the families, children, parents, spouses, and sibling of those 50 murdered souls. Let your tears melt your hearts and the boundaries and fences around your heart. God says: Become as one heart in my presence!

But don't stop there! Once you have felt the grief and cried the tears, it is time to become like fire! King Solomon stated: Ner Adam Nishmat Adonai! Each of us bears a flame of God's holiness! And we must join our flames together to create a torch of peace. We need to stand together now with the torch of our unity and decry this hatred. We need to hold the torch high and demand of the world's leaders to call out the hatred and destruction and entitlement and confusion of the White Nationalists around the world who take into their hands to destroy others! Together we must demand that global leaders become moral leaders, that they speak out and decry this hatred. We are so grateful for all the government officials who have shown up today, but some at the top say say this is no big deal… Well, it is a big deal!

What we need is a worldwide web of moral leadership. I mean leaders from the digital and social media industries, facebook and Apple, and Amazon, to be accountable and use their power and resources to excoriate the cancer of white nationalism. We need the intellectuals and academics to speak out as well, to join with the Stars of Hollywood and film producers in the entertainment industry to say: Enough! We need the team owners and celebrities of the sports industry, to not sit idly by.

Let us raise our torch high and demand a vocal global leadership to join with grassroots movement, with communities like ours... to recognize it, to name it, to put attention and resources toward eradicating white supremacy. Building such a global coalition is big work, and it may take years, but with God's help insha'allah, and the joining of many individuals in communities around the world, we can and must uproot this scourge of hatred.

Can you imagine such a global network forming? Do so for one moment. Imagine it, will it, and insha'allah, it can happen.

May all of us be blessed to help bring about a healed world. Amen.

Here are some things you can do:

  1. If you are able, consider a donation to the Muslim community in New Zealand. You can donate here at Launchgood.

  2. Now is the time for worldwide