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Local religious leaders held a press conference to speak out against hate and white supremacy which led to the killing of Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo by Eric Zamora/Fresno Bee)

We Need Everyone to Denounce White Supremacy, Fresno Faith Leaders Say After Attack on Mosques

By Carmen George—March 15, 2019

Hatred in all its forms – including white supremacy, bigotry, and racism – was denounced by Fresno religious leaders in the wake of a deadly terror attack Friday in New Zealand.

The mass shooting in Christchurch killed at least 49 people worshipping at two mosques in a slaying broadcast in live video by an immigrant-hating white supremacist wielding at least two assault rifles and a shotgun.

Sheikh Thabet Anani, imam of My Deen, said, “it just felt so close to us – it felt like it could happen here” of the terror attack. He spoke during an interfaith news conference at his Islamic center in northeast Fresno.

Anani said the mass shooter wrote the name of another mass shooter in a different country on his gun and that “crime, terrorism, somewhere will incite or inspire terrorism everywhere.”

Rabbi Rick Winer of Temple Beth Israel said he hoped Friday’s interfaith gathering, conversely, will inspire love everywhere.

“Fortunately, one of the best ways that we have to counter this is our expressions of love,” Winer said, “and here in the Fresno region and the Central Valley, it’s not hard. We have such a beautiful interfaith community that comes together both in wake of tragedy, but also just because we love each other. And we really hope that it will serve as a symbol, as a reminder, to communities throughout the world because, as we’ve heard, if an act of terrorism can inspire someone in another country, perhaps these acts of love that we see so commonly here in the Central Valley can also inspire the world.”

Read more at the Fresno Bee.

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