The feeling of dread echoes across the nation and around the world as twenty innocent children at the Sandy Hook Elementary School are torn away from their parents Friday morning in Newton, Connecticut, by a mindless gunman, killing also seven other adults, including the Principal and a teacher. This unbelievable and horrific massacre is the latest in a series of mass shooting rampages that have tormented the United States this year and the second worst in U. S. history, after the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007.
The Islamic Council of New England, along with the entire Muslim population, is shocked, saddened and heartbroken by this immense tragedy that is hard to describe, and would like to extend its most sincere condolences to the parents, families and friends of the victims; and pray that, in time, they find solace and strength to endure the loss they have so ill-fatedly suffered. At the same time, the Council and its affiliates strongly condemn the monstrous act of violence and atrocity the evil killer has inflicted on a peace loving community.
This sobering moment also provides opportunity for reflection and soul-searching. It is a collective responsibility of people of influence and in positions of authority to take necessary steps to improve the safety of their fellow citizens. It is time to take a fresh look at the public policy and put the safety and wellbeing of citizens above money, politics and special interests. The collective will of a nation must be strong enough to protect its children against violence by curbing the means of violence, so that they also have a chance to live and fulfill their dreams.
Naseema N Khan, PhD Mazen Duwaji, MD