March 18, 2019

L.A. Faith and Civic Leaders Denounce Attacks at Two New Zealand Mosques

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks at the Islamic Center of Southern California. Photo by Ryan Torok

Showing solidarity with the New Zealand Muslim community reeling from deadly attacks on two of its mosques, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, IKAR Rabbi Sharon Brous and other civic and interfaith leaders denounced the acts of violence.

Appearing at a press conference at the Koreatown-based Islamic Center of Southern California, Garcetti said his role as a civic leader and his Jewish faith compelled him to show up to support the Muslim community.

“I come as a mayor and as a Jew to be here at the Islamic Center because every single time we see these moments, we know who we are and we are tested about what we are and what we believe in,” he said.

Around 100 people turned out to the press conference, where Brous called the shootings in New Zealand “pure hatred.

“I want to be very clear that this attack was perpetuated in the name of an ideology, the ideology of white supremacy, which is the cancer that threatens to destroy not only this country but our world,” she said. “This cancer that has wrapped itself around the spine of our nation, which we now export willingly to anyone who will receive it.”

Rabbi Sharon Brous and Edina Lekovic hug in a show of love and support between a rabbi and Muslim-American leader. Photo by Ryan Torok

At least 49 people were killed and 20 injured during the carefully planned March 15 attacks at the Masjid Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch and another place of worship in the suburb of Linwood.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called Friday “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”

A Muslim weekly prayer service – called Jummah – followed, with an imam delivering a sermon focused on the tragedy.