Dear Rutgers University – Newark community members,
Words fail to capture the intensity of the shock and pain we feel today in the wake of the acts of terrorism perpetrated at the Al Noor and Linwood Mosques in New Zealand that took the lives of scores of worshipers and left so many more grievously injured. Exacerbating our grief are the knowledge gained already about the hateful ideology of White Supremacism behind these attacks and the brazenness with which they were carried out.
Our minds and hearts are with the victims, their families, and their communities. We stand with them and with all who are feeling the impact of these horrific events, especially Muslim members of our community.
A moment like this thrusts into sharp relief the importance of a community like ours—a community where we strive not only to acknowledge and celebrate our many beliefs, heritages, and identities, but commit collectively to work across our differences. We know from experience that this can be hard work, but that shared threads of humility, respect, and love weave us together.
In his State of the City Address this week, Mayor Baraka urged us all, when faced by forces that would divide us, to lock arms with each other in shared resolve, to stay united, to “hold the line” and support each other, absorbing together whatever difficulty might befall any one of us and move “Forward ever, backward never!”
In that same spirit, let us face the forces that would divide our extended communities around the world and resolve to move ever forward together.