A Statement by CIGA on the New Zealand Massacre

March 15, 2019


Friday's unconscionable attacks on Muslim congregants in Christchurch, New Zealand, have bred great sadness and fear in the hearts of many Muslims and non-Muslims around the world. Perhaps most striking is the ominous familiarity connecting the Christchurch shootings with the recent bigoted attacks in Charleston, South Carolina and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Christian and Jewish congregants. The influence of racist, fascist, ethnocentric jingoism on all such terrible incidents is both grave and deserving of an urgent, global response from intellectual, social, political, and religious leaders.

The Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA), in its role as a rising research hub in the Muslim World, is committed to fostering and producing the intellectual zeal and space needed to address the problem of anti-religious hatred, in all its manifestations and iterations. Having previously organized and hosted the International Conference on Islamophobia in the Spring of 2018, CIGA will proceed along the same trajectory this year, and will host the Second Annual International Conference on Islamophobia in April 12-14. Leading scholars and thinkers will join CIGA to answer some of the most pressing questions about the state of Islamophobia today, its connection to various forms of anti-Muslim and anti-religious violence, and the mechanisms and conditions which perpetuate it and its many concomitant horrors.

It is simply not enough to condemn bigotry if we ever hope to tackle it. Understanding the social, political, and philosophical foundations that inform and encourage bigotry is a necessity of paramount importance. The connections we draw between phenomena like the rise of far-right movements and the increasing prevalence of anti-Muslim and anti-religious hatred must be done in a more explicit, more consequential manner. For our part, we here at CIGA will continue to work toward a future where the tragedies of the present cease to endure.

For more information visit ciga.izu.edu.tr