UCLA Chancellor Gene Block sent this message to the campus community today.
To the Campus Community:
Like many of you, I learned of the terrible attack on the Muslim community in New Zealand late last night and then awoke this morning to the horrifying details: Forty-nine killed and dozens injured by a small group who had targeted two mosques in the city of Christchurch.
Today, we mourn with the Muslim community at UCLA and around the world. Each of us has a responsibility to speak out against bias and bigotry, emphasizing the importance of diversity, mutual understanding and compassion.
It is so disheartening and upsetting to find ourselves reacting to yet another senseless mass shooting. The list of cities that have suffered — Parkland, Pittsburgh, Thousand Oaks, Charleston, Las Vegas, Orlando — seems to stretch further with each passing year. Each is a tragedy and the hardest attacks to grapple with are those that target victims specifically because of differences like their faith or their race. Islamophobia, like racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia, is a threat to every single one of us.
For anyone who is hurting, I urge you to join the Muslim Student Association in a community healing space today at 6 p.m. in Meyerhoff Park. I also urge those of you feeling angry or frightened to take advantage of the many resources we have here on campus to support members of our community. Students should contact UCLA Counseling and Psychological Services or the Dean of Students. Staff and faculty can access the UCLA Staff and Faculty Counseling Center. Please also be assured that we will continue our efforts to maintain a safe and secure campus.
Most important of all, let us keep our faith that there is much more good than evil in this world and that by joining together, we can heal, endure and stand up for the inclusive and peaceful world we all deserve.
Gene D. Block