On the Friday evening a week after the terror attack in Christchurch, I visited my local mosque which they had opened up to allow people to express support. It was not a huge event, but there was a lot of warmth in both the welcome from the host community and the support from locals. While it was difficult to adjust to the sight of three armed police (including one with an assault rifle), it was really good to take the sense of “differentness” away from my perception of Islam. The people praying were people I see every day all around my city, their prayer rituals no stranger than the religion I grew up in. They were people just like the 50 ordinary kiwis whose lives were stolen by the terrorist.
My resolution is to be more mindful and intolerant of my own passive, casual prejudice in any form, and to take a stand when I see or hear it in others.
Silence is collusion.