NEW YORK, March 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is a statement from Bawa Jain, Secretary-General, World Council of Religious Leaders and President, Centre for Responsible Leadership:
Following last week's horrific attacks, New Zealand and the rest of the world remains in mourning. More than four dozen lives were lost that fateful day – perhaps most disturbingly, their lives robbed during a time of prayer.
As in many times of unjust violence and godless cruelties, today we witness society come together to honor the victims. While moments of silence and calls to prayer undoubtedly come from a place of good – and demonstrate to the victims' loved ones a sense of solidarity and compassion – it is simply not enough.
Yes, there is a symbolic correlation to healing. But neither silence nor prayer alone can stimulate the change our world needs. On behalf of the World Council of Religious Leaders, I'm calling for true, meaningful action as well.
The time is now for responsible leaders across all nations to come together and set an example. Leadership starts with condemning acts of intolerance and promoting a broad-minded approach that embraces our differences. Tolerance, understanding and appreciation of our diversity is the only way we can create a better tomorrow for our children – a world in which people, regardless of their religious affiliation or skin color, respect their neighbors.
As a partner of the Muslim World League, I fully endorse the statement last week of Sheikh Dr. Mohammad bin Abdulkarim Alissa, the MWL Secretary-General, in which he called for leaders of all faiths to respond to the attacks in New Zealand by combatting incitement and hatred leveled against any religion or ethnicity.
Silence is a start. Now, we need to move on to the hard work of getting people of all faiths – from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds – to agree that enough is enough and work together to build and support more tolerant communities worldwide.
To be sure, this will not be easy; however, it is possible. It is about putting conviction ahead of convenience and patience ahead of pride.
SOURCE World Council of Religious Leaders