NewsPalm Beach CountyRegion S Palm Beach CountyBoca Raton

Actions

Boca Raton shows unified front against hatred and bigotry in wake of New Zealand mosque shootings

wptv-interfaith-call-to-action-.jpg
Posted at 4:35 PM, Mar 22, 2019

BOCA RATON, Fla.-- One week ago, 50 worshipers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand were killed in a mass shooting.

Over 500 people came to the Islamic Center of Boca Raton for an interfaith call to action a week after 50 worshipers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand were killed in a mass shooting.

Speakers included Nancy Gilbert, the Honorable Consul of New Zealand. Gilbert’s speech focused on humanity and unity. “The message is one of thanks, gratitude, strength and of compassion,” said Gilbert.

Gilbert was joined by members of the interfaith community who called the attacks against the mosques a violation of trust against people doing the most peaceful act.

“There's nothing we can do to bring the lives back, but we can come together and hopefully prevent future disasters like this,” said Islamic Center of Boca Raton President Bassem Alhalabi.

He was joined by faith leaders who said the public response of unity and the message of love are critical moving forward.

“There are those who say the opposite of love is hate,” said Rabbi David Steinhardt, Senior Rabbi of B’nai Torah Congregation. “And there are others who think that the opposite of love maybe fear and fear can lead to hate,”

Law enforcement was visibly present both inside and outside of the center. Boca Raton's mayor, Scott Singer, hopes people globally recognize the city’s unified front against hatred and bigotry.

“I think everyone, whether here or not, stands here united against hatred. And we have more work to do as a world to fight hatred and bigotry,” Singer said.