Racism anywhere is racism everywhere

Today’s horrific news all the way from New Zealand is a stark reminder of the threats racism poses to peaceful coexistence of communities. It shows how divided we are and the damage political discourse can do to create fear and hatred amongst communities to the extent that armed individuals will aim at peaceful worshipers at Friday prayers, a dreadful act that sent shockwaves across the world.

Tragic events like this leave us with many questions about our values and the kind of world we have become. But, any tragedy wherever it takes place bring us together and make us stronger. #

Today I observed how people responded to these attacks. I took my two year old to a play group run at a church in our local area. After the session, all the parents gathered together and prayed for the victims. I then went to Glasgow Central Mosque for Friday prayers and hundreds of worshippers gathered to pray for peace, patience and unity.

Later on at work I met with members of faith communities in Scotland to talk about community sponsorship. The meeting began with a minute silence for the victims and their families. This evening the people of Glasgow are gathering for a vigil in the city centre to show solidarity and resistance to this violent racism everywhere.

And tomorrow I will be joining hundreds of others at the Stand Up to Racism rally in Glasgow.

The terrorists and fascist wherever they are want to instil fear in communities. We can respond by showing courage and solidarity. It is our shared responsibility to challenge racism and negative and divisive language wherever we find it.

Chris Pettigrew
Author: Chris Pettigrew