Reflections on Christchurch Shooting

Philip Manzano • Mar 17, 2019

A Statement from the CEO

What happened in Christchurch last Thursday was heartbreaking. I wanted to share my thoughts and prayers on behalf of my family and everyone at Keela.

Thursday night’s events have taken a couple of days to sink in for me. My emotions have run the full gamut – from heartbroken, to sadly unsurprised, to scared.

As a human being, my heart aches for those who lost their lives, but also for their loved ones. As a realist, it seems that destructive violence, shootings, and anger have become the norm – maybe an externality of our political, economic, and moral realities. As a Muslim, I am scared; scared that this could have been me, or my wife, or my parents.

The attack in New Zealand wasn’t just attack on Muslims, it was an attack on our shared humanity. It was an attack on basic human decency and an attack on the very notion of pluralism, a value that as a Canadian, I hold so deeply.

Pluralism is at the heart of Keela — It’s literally plastered on our walls as a daily reminder of where civil society gets its strength, its talent, and its collective heart.

No words will change anything; instead, we must build bridges between difference; we must strengthen civil society, and ultimately our democracies.

It is only then that we can overcome our differences, not by changing people’s opinions or beliefs, but rather, by challenging ourselves to understand that these differences are, fundamentally, humanity’s greatest strength and beautiful blessing.

— Nejeed