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To New Zealanders and Muslims Everywhere

“Hello Brother”

To New Zealanders and Muslims Everywhere

Dear Friends, 

Today we grieve with those affected by the mosque shootings in New Zealand. We grieve for the 49 lives lost and the pain of those who remain. We grieve for the fear and loss of a sense of safety that live on in the aftermath. And we grieve for the hatred that seeps into hearts leading to tragedies like this one.

We stand with all those condemning the spread of messages of division and hate, messages that generate fear-mongering and fuel its manifestations – in this case Islamophobia – in our world.

TIO is committed to fostering peace, understanding, and genuine curiosity. Through our work, we seek to promote diversity, inclusivity, and respectful relationships; to build bridges and break down walls of fear and misunderstanding. We will continue to do so with the lives of those lost in our heart. They will not be forgotten.

The final words of the first victim in the shooting were “Hello Brother.” This is the ultimate act of love, to see and acknowledge the other – the hater – as family. Much attention will be given to the shooters by the media over the coming days, but let us not let this act of heroism and kindness be lost among it. His words call all of us to open our hearts. They call us to seek to embrace and understand others just as we do with our own family and close friends. May we all renew a commitment and our efforts to embody his words, creating the world of love, peace, and justice we seek deep in our hearts. 

Your friends at TIO

Header Photo: Pxhere