When I awoke this morning, I turned on the news and saw that Brussels had suffered terrorist attacks, for which ISIS is now claiming responsibility.
People – human beings like each of us – were again slaughtered as they went to work or traveled for business or pleasure. And though this is happening every day across the world, this morning it is Brussels, and the news in the U.S. is focused on the tragedy. It breaks our hearts.
Once again, we are saddened at the cruel, horrific loss of life. Those of us with friends, colleagues and family in Belgium, want to reach out to make sure they are safe and to share in the sorrow. Yet again, we wish to console, as best we can, the families of the murdered.
But today, there is something else in our consciousness.
Many of us feel great sadness, but also a numbness. We see a new normal that involves living with real threats and, sometimes, the reality of their success. Wherever people gather around the globe, the risk of violence exists.
So how do we respond? Clearly, we condemn those who perpetrate violence and hatred, terrorism, death and destruction. We condemn their extremism and their ideologies. And unequivocally, we affirm Prime Minister David Cameron when he reminds us that, “…we need to stand together against these appalling terrorists and make sure they can never win.”
Today is a day to strengthen our resolve and our commitment to peace and justice.
On this day of mourning, we therefore invite you to revisit a resource we created as part of our Combating Extremism campaign – Calls and Prayers for Peace and Justice from thirteen of the world’s religious traditions. We encourage you to reflect on our shared values of humanity. Our hearts may be broken, but our hearts belong to us, and we will not surrender them to the hands of cowards dedicated to destruction. We are better than that.
Today, with one voice, we say to the terrorists – “You do not win.”
With sorrow and resolve,
Joyce S. Dubensky