Today we join the global community in grief and sympathy for the victims of the attacks on the Al Noor and Linwood Mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, one of Seattle’s sister cities. This despicable act of terror aimed at Muslims is an assault on the values honored by ALL people of good faith and is an assault on our shared humanity. Together, we can and must reject the white nationalism, racism, and religious bigotry that are tragically on the rise around the world, including here in the United States. As we hold the victims of this attack in our hearts, I ask every member of our community to be extra conscious of how this attack has affected our Muslim students, faculty and staff. Let us all do our part to ensure that every member of this community feels safe, welcomed and supported.
Our Office of Student Life has reached out to our students from New Zealand as well as to our Muslim Student Association to offer support and comfort. The UW Counseling Center is available to anyone who wants some help in dealing with this tragedy, and I encourage anyone who needs support to reach out to the Counseling Center at any time. Resources are available to our faculty and staff through UW Carelink.
When we are faced with hateful, senseless atrocities, it can be tempting to respond with despair and anger. It’s harder, but ultimately more worthwhile, to seek out ways to make the world a more welcoming, inclusive and loving place. The UW strives to be that place, but it takes all of us to make it one.