The NYU community stands hand-in-hand in grief with the people of New Zealand and followers of Islam everywhere, and we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those who repudiate Islamophobia, violence, and extremism of all kinds.
Even in a time when mass shootings have become depressingly common, this attack stands out for its awfulness: its lethality, its religious bigotry, its use of social media, its timing and location -- as Muslims peacefully attended Friday prayers in mosques. I have been to Christchurch; it's hard to imagine a place seemingly less likely for this kind of tragedy to occur. It is a painful reminder that hatred knows no borders.
I have asked our Department of Public Safety to be in touch both with the NYPD and our Muslim chaplain to see if there are any additional steps we should be taking to safeguard the Muslims on our own campus. For those of you who may be struggling because of the news of this event, I would remind you that the Wellness Exchange (email@example.com or 212-443-9999) is available to students round-the-clock, as is our Carebridge program for employees (firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-437-0911). Or, if anyone in our community would like to speak with a chaplain, he or she can contact the Office of Global Spiritual Life: 212-998-4959 or email@example.com. The Islamic Center at NYU (212-998-4712 or firstname.lastname@example.org) will hold a vigil this evening at 6 pm on the Kimmel steps in response to this terrible event.
Today, now more than ever, I am convinced of the importance of NYU's mission in building the diverse, global communities that we have around the world. I believe that the fulfillment of our efforts will bring understanding, and it is only through understanding that we can advance the cause of peace. As we separate for spring break, remember to carry with you and share the values of the NYU community -- diversity, a belief in reason, understanding, peaceful co-existence -- wherever your travels take you.