Yorbing Staff Monday March 18, 2019
WNYC The Takeaway March 18, 2019
Lamia Imam was at home in Austin, Texas when she found out about an attack on two mosques.
The attacks took place halfway around the world in New Zealand, where she lived. To her horror, worshippers at her hometown mosque of Al Noor were victims to the attack.
“I never thought that something like this would happen in New Zealand,” she told Takeaway producer Beenish Ahmed. “I was in such shock I just couldn’t believe that that could even be true.”
Last Friday, a gunman entered the mosque and indiscriminately opened fire on worshippers. Fifty people were killed in the attack, including a 3-year-old boy and a 71-year-old grandfather.
The worshippers were from all over the world; Somalia, Indonesia, Afghanistan. They were all members of the Muslim community in Christchurch.
“Some of the images that I was looking at — it’s so heart-wrenching because even if it’s faces I don’t know, it’s faces that I would know,” Imam said. “It still feels like it’s your family.”
Khaled Beydoun, an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, has been sharing the photos and stories of the victims. Family members and friends have reached out to him, providing insight on their family, lives, personalities and dreams.
The attack on the mosque is only the latest instance of a rise in white supremacist-driven violence throughout the world.
Kathleen Belew is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Chicago, and she has studied white supremacy and its growth. According to Belew, attacks throughout the world are not by “lone-wolves,” rather, they are part of a larger movement by white supremacists, who are greatly influenced by those in the U.S.