As students spread around the globe for spring break, community members were confronted with news of the latest act of racially-charged terrorism to make international headlines: the murder of 50 Muslims by a fanatical white supremacist in the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand.
In an email to the Orient, Eduardo Pazos, director of religious and spiritual life, condemned the attack as an act of religious terror.
“The shooting of the mosques in New Zealand … was an act of hatred and evil perpetrated against a sacred place of worship and against a group of people who had gathered in peace to pray, learn, worship and be in community with each other,” wrote Pazos. “Acts like this are meant to destroy not only the lives of those gathered in the building, but they’re also meant to defile the sacred.”
Pazos noted that the timing of the tragedy, occurring over the College’s break, made coordinating a formal response difficult.
“Communication was a little tricky this time around because we were all on break and students had different levels of access to their emails,” wrote Pazos.
In lieu of a more formal recognition, the College has extended support to members of the community who may need it.
“We have communicated with the leadership of the Muslim Student Alliance to extend our support and make ourselves available to them if anybody affected by this horrible tragedy was in need of any kind of additional support throughout this time,” Pazos wrote.
He added that his office, as well as the Counseling and Wellness Services, remain resources for students affected by the massacre.
The Muslim Student Alliance held its first meeting back from the break this week but has not announced plans for programming in response to the massacre.