Solidarity Vigil: Remembering Their Names

Reflection: Together We Rise Together We Fall

By: Hanan Seid

Photography credit: Bushra Soltan

Originally published on March 19, 2019

Published on DAH Blog

Our community has always been vigilant and Strong. Especially in times of tragedy. This week the headlines were filled with sadness and massacre. The terrorist attack in New Zealand was the catalyst, the catalyst to millions of people taking to social media, and to hundreds of allies bringing flowers to their nearby Masjids. Our unified message is: We have had enough of senseless acts of violence and demand gun control. Our system gives power to violence. Hate and terrorism took advantage of the Christchurch, NZ. Insane how the eye works. I truly don’t understand how the place we seek sanctuary in is the same one others see a battlefield. The same religion we see peace some see terror. There is a culture where we vilify the killer, but not this time. This time we have chosen to shift the culture and remember the victims. Their stories and aspirations.

Saturday evening our community held a vigil for the 51 (still in counting) murdered in the attack. What shocked me wasn’t the fact that hundreds of people showing up. Everyone was jam-packed in our courtyard, filling the hallways and standing in the lobby. What shocked me was that there were more people of other faiths in attendance than Muslims. Every person with a flower in hand and solidarity in the other. A scene out of the movies. This was what a neighborhood, a community, humanity is all about. Standing together in a subject that’s important to everyone.

Photo credit (photo on the right): Sait Serkan Gurbuz

Community leaders, delegates, Rabbis, Imams, and Priests stood next to each other holding the names of the fallen. As the rest of us were asked to turn our phone lights on. Harmoniously in silence. But how long before we grow numb to these vigils. We remember their name now. Share them in our timelines just to forget about it tomorrow. How many of us have already forgotten? Islamaphobia has been present since the first Muslims that were here. The political atmosphere amplifies pre-existing hate. This week lets continue to reflect on their stories, remember their names, and remember our amazing allies.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”-Martin Luther King jr.

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