ECAASU Mourns the Victims of the Terrorist Attack in Christchurch, New Zealand

Official Statement
March 16th, 2019

Press Contact: 
Cheyenne Cheng,

Miru Osuga, 

ECAASU Mourns the Victims of the Terrorist Attack in Christchurch, New Zealand

WASHINGTON, DC- The East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU) grieves with the families, friends, and community members who lost loved ones in the Christchurch terrorist attack. Our hearts ache.

We condemn white supremacy, which is at the root of Islamophobia and xenophobic beliefs and actions: there is no space for terrorism in our understanding of humanity. On Friday, March 15, 2019, 49 lives were lost and 20 were seriously injured in Christchurch, New Zealand. A white male shooter live-streamed and committed mass shootings at two mosques during Jumaah (Friday prayer). In respect for those whose lives were lost, do not watch the video or share the link.

We want to make space for the anger, sadness, numbness, grief, and multitudes of feelings and responses that people are processing at this time. Over the next few days, let’s check in both with ourselves and with friends, family, and other folks who may be hurting and healing. Let us uplift Muslim voices and find ways to support our local Muslim communities, and continue to do so beyond the aftermath of this tragedy. We’ve listed some resources, healing spaces, and donation campaigns below for folks who have capacity and are compelled to take action.

And let’s also examine the greater structures that allowed this Islamophobic mass shooting to happen. As long as white supremacy exists, there will be hate and violence. And as long as white supremacy exists, there will be systemic, psychological, and physical violence promoted by policies like the Muslim Ban and institutions like Homeland Security’s vile Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program. This shooting is also a tragic reminder that Islamophobia is not merely limited to the United States but extends to all corners of the globe. The scope of our collective fight for liberation must encompass communities outside of the U.S. in order to resist and stamp out white supremacy in its entirety. ECAASU remains in solidarity with Muslim communities, in New Zealand and beyond. We reaffirm our commitment to working against Islamophobia and condemn this nation’s government for shamelessly continuing to enact and uphold Islamophobic policies.

This is a difficult time for many folks within our community; we hope that the following resources can be of use, though we recognize their limitations. If you are in severe emotional distress, we encourage you to seek professional help. Many college campuses offer their own counseling services or operate a confidential hotline.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Crisis Text Line:  text “HOME” to 741-741 (US) 686868 (Canada)

NASEEHA Mental Health (3PM-9PM EST Mon - Fri): 1-866-627-3342
Khalil Center’s Confidential Help Line (limited hours):  1-855-543-5752

AMALA Muslim Youth Hopeline (9PM-1AM EST Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun): 1-855-95-AMALA

Institute for Muslim Mental Health: 1-800-273-8255

Muslim Wellness Foundation Inc.

Tragic Events toolkit from the Family and Youth Institute

Multiple organizations have created campaigns to raise support for the families of the victims and for the greater Muslim community in New Zealand. Here are a few you can donate to if you are able:
New Zealand Council of Victim Support Groups
New Zealand Islamic Info Centre

Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh

To learn more about the global nature of islamophobia, please read

Islamophobia, Race, and Global Politics by Dr. Nazia Kazi

Run solely by volunteers, The East Coast Asian American Student Union (ECAASU) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to inspire, educate, and empower those interested in Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) issues.

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View the statement as a pdf here.