Adler University President Raymond E. Crossman, Ph.D., addresses the mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 15 in a message to students, faculty, and staff.
I write to you following the terrible hate crime of murders at the New Zealand mosque. Funerals begin today for some of the 50 killed in these attacks.
These murders come at a time when Islamophobic crimes are increasing in the USA, in Canada, and around the world. Muslims are demonized, and white supremacy rhetoric and action has consequences. Muslims, women, immigrants, people of color, people who are homeless or poor, Jews, trans people, or anyone cast as “other” – all live in fear because they are often in danger. Oppression and violence continue in the USA, Canada, and around the world as every day occurrences. Muslims who are members our Adler community, and Muslims the world over, wonder this week if they are safe or even if they belong. I feel sad, angry, and scared following these events, and I know many of you do as well.
So I write this morning to our community, and especially to members of our community of the Muslim faith, with appreciation that we stand together, we stand against hate, and we stand for inclusion. We are united in advancing Alfred Adler’s revolution of gemeinschaftsgefühl – the roadmap for community connection, justice, and health – as well as the antidote to division, hatred, and Islamophobia.
Later today, the University is offering a training for all students, faculty, and staff about anti-Semitism. The training was planned earlier this term as part of our ongoing education about diversity and inclusion. The training will focus on anti-Semitism, and, at the same time, I am mindful today of all senseless and terrible religious persecution. We are an institution that was founded by three Jews – Rudolf Dreikurs, Harold Mosak, and Bernie Shulman. Our founders experienced bigotry as much because they were Jewish as because they were Adlerian. I speak today confidently on our founders’ behalf to say that our history and mission demand that we counter Islamophbia in our ongoing work. We expect and support one another to respect and honor diversity in faith and beliefs, to question ignorance and prejudice, and to work against the antecedents and consequences of oppression and violence.