Recently, mass shootings have been making up most of the news, starting from New Zealand where a gunman killed 51 in two mosques to Texas where a man admitted himself to be a supporter of the New Zealand incident and gunned down 22 people. With the spread of communal hate, people of various faiths and beliefs are coming together to help the victims of these diabolic activities. Many people have fallen prey to these massacres and become a part of these tragedies. However, many people of different faiths have joined hands and banded together to help the survivors recover. The Jewish community in Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania came forward to raise money to support the victims of Christchurch, New Zealand incident after they had been themselves the victim of a shooting last year.
According to Liz Bucar, a professor of Philosophy and Religion at Northeastern University, the Sikh community volunteered to clean the bodies of the victims of Christchurch tragedy. She said, “There’s a really wonderful and inspiring reaction to that violence and hate coming from different religious communities.” Bucar discussed at a panel, titled “Responding to Hate”, at Northeastern how specific groups become the target of such incidents due to their religious belief. She said, “It’s a unique opportunity to have a real, open conversation. It’s a series of scholars, faculty, community partners, and people associated with Northeastern framing issues and questions and then opening it up for that kind of conversation that maybe we aren’t always having in public.”
Gordana Rabrenovic, director of Brudnick Center on Violence and Conflict and an associate professor of Sociology, stated that Bucar discussed how mostly men get inspired by such hate and participate in the mass shootings. She also discussed how this leads people to lose trust and faith in the government and political institutions. Rabrenovic is of the notion that one of the primary dangers of mistrust is that it encourages people to disengage from public discourse because they believe that nothing is possible, and so we really need to strengthen our norms on public discourse and civic institutions if we are to move forward and strengthen our democracy.