Kia Kaha. Truth and love will win.
I was horrified to hear about the murders in Christchurch. I’ve been fighting racism and the far-right all my life, through education, community outreach and direct action.
My thoughts go out to the injured and the families of those killed. My thoughts go out to those terrified going to Friday prayers for fear of similar attacks.
This attack was not an aberration, we must not dismiss this as the work of a “lone wolf”. There are forces in our society and our media who seek to divide us. Powerful people who drive down living standards and exploit workers, and then try to blame it on people of a different colour or religion.
Here in Britain we have a press who demonise Muslims. The former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Muslim women look like bank robbers. Theresa May created a hostile environment for immigrants of colour.
Once we start to devalue people, once we start to legitimise the opinion that some of our citizens have less right to walk our streets or take part in our public life, we fan the small sparks of bitterness into the murderous inferno of hatred that was Christchurch.
I stand with Muslims, I stand with Christians, with atheists, and Buddhists and Jews and Hindus and Sikhs and people of all creeds.
We all have different faiths. But we share a common faith in humanity. I’ve been asked many times who inspired me politically. It’s Martin Luther King:
“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.”
“I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.”
“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”
Kia Kaha – stay strong!