Candlelight vigil denounces recent attacks across country
by Jennifer Khedaroo
Oct 31, 2018 | 4540 views | 0 0 comments | 244 244 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Photo by Widad Hassan/Twitter @WidadIndie
Photo by Widad Hassan/Twitter @WidadIndie
Following several acts of domestic terrorism last week, Borough President Melinda Katz hosted a “Queens Against Hate” vigil on Monday night on the steps of Borough Hall.

Community and religious leaders joined other elected officials to denounce the acts of hate and honor the victims.

“These are acts of domestic terrorism,” Katz said. “Anyone who wants to create fear in this world, America will not have it and Queens will not have it.”

Throughout last week, pipe bombs were mailed to prominent Democrats and the offices of CNN. Authorities eventually arrested 56-year-old Florida resident Cesar Sayoc in connection with the mailings.

As of Monday evening, 15 packages had been found, but officials said Sayoc had more than 100 other targets on a list.

Last Wednesday, 51-year-old Gregory Bush shot and killed Maurice Stallard, 69, and Vickie Jones, 67, at a grocery store in Kentucky.

Prior to the shooting, Bush attempted to enter a predominantly black church but could not gain access.

Days later, 46-year-old Robert Bowers shot and killed 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. The victims ranged in ages from 54 to 97.

“The past week has been horrendous between the bombs and the shootings,” said Corona resident Louise Emanuel. “At some point we have to say that this is enough and that we all have to come together. Not just one group of people, we all have to come together for it to resonate.”

Michael Miller, CEO of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, said words matter, especially when it serves as a warning sign on social media, but that the uplifting words spoken at the candlelight vigil should matter more.

“We must as many bridges as we possibly can,” Miller said. “Bridges of understanding and support. We need to engage.”

Reverend John Boyd II of New Greater Bethel Ministries said that while we cannot go back in time to stop the recent attacks, we can change the future.

“We can ask ourselves what can we do, what will we do now, to ensure we have used all of our resources to stop the acts of hatred,” Boyd said. “We need to affirm to ourselves the strongest power known to mankind: love.”

Imam Safraz Bacchus of Masjid Al Abidin said it’s imperative for all religions to support the Jewish community following Saturday’s shooting.

“All religious places of worship and institutions are sacred and should be treated as such, because they are considered to be safe havens and sanctuaries,” he said.

“The attack on the synagogue in Pittsburgh is an attack on churches, mosques, mandirs and other religious institutions,” added Bacchus. “It’s an attack on religious freedom.”

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