Mar. 17, 2019 – Statement from the Director

March 17, 2019

A message from the Directors of
the Asian American Cultural Center,
the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life,
the Human Rights Institute,
and the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center

The horrific attack on the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch have left us heartbroken.  We stand in solidarity with the victims and their families, the people of New Zealand, and our Muslim neighbors here and around the world.  We stand against the malignant forces and repugnant ideologies of white supremacy, Islamophobia, and ethno-nationalism, which appear to have incubated and catalyzed this crime.

That many of those who worshiped at these mosques had fled violence and persecution in their home countries deepens the sorrow we feel for this tragedy.  That they sought asylum and were welcomed to New Zealand by Muslims and non-Muslims alike heartens us with hope that the community of Christchurch will respond to hatred and division with love and unity.

The people of the United States and Connecticut are all too familiar with such senseless acts of violence, and our hearts go out to our Kiwi friends as they begin to reflect and rebuild.  As directors of programs at UConn rooted in a commitment to the fundamental human rights of all people, we pledge to continue our efforts to address violent racism, bigotry, and Islamophobia, and join President Herbst in rededicating ourselves to building “a world where all people can live together in peace.”

Glenn Mitoma
Director
Thomas J. Dodd Research Center

Angela Rola
Director
Asian American Cultural Center

Sebastian Wogenstein
Interim Director
Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life

Stuart Miller
Academic Director
Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life

Kathy Libal
Director
Human Rights Institute

Molly Land
Associate Director
Human Rights Institute