To the editor:
(re: “United against terror,” March 21)
In the March 21 edition of The Riverdale Press, there was a large photo of a gathering where community members mourn victims of the New Zealand massacre, with a crowd listening to an imam speak.
The underlying story read as follows: “It’s a practice that seems to be all too common, but it happened again over the weekend. Religious leaders and community members gathered Sunday by the Riverdale Monument to mourn the victims of a tragedy.
This time it was for the 50 people who died in a shooting rampage across two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on March 15. Another 50 were wounded.”
This horrific attack occurred on March 15, and this vigil showing solidarity with the Muslim people was organized and took place in the space of only two days.
A little over five weeks later, on Easter Sunday, April 21, an even more horrendous murderous attack, now referred to as the “Easter Massacre,” took place in the country of Sri Lanka. A highly organized group of radical Muslim jihadists infiltrated several Christian churches and hotels, blew themselves up, and caused the deaths of at least 257 worshippers, and more than 500 wounded.
The original report was of 350 killed, but it was then realized that they had double-counted bodies that had been blown apart. Some 24 suspects were later arrested in the aftermath of the bombings.
This was an event more horrific and causing much more carnage than the New Zealand massacre.
Yet, upon reading the following April 25 and May 2 issues of The Riverdale Press, I realized to my disgust and anger that no similar memorial event had been planned to mourn the murdered Christian churchgoers.
Didn’t their martyred lives deserve to be honored? Why weren’t they?
The murders in New Zealand were committed by a white supremacist. Those in Sri Lanka were committed by radical Islamic jihadists. Were the clergy and politicians here in Riverdale so afraid of being called “Islamophobes” that they couldn’t do the right thing and organize a vigil for the dead Christians?
Whatever the reason, this non-action was disgraceful. Something just doesn’t seem right. Perhaps this newspaper should investigate the matter. It would seem to be a newsworthy story.
EDITOR’S NOTE: A vigil for the victims of Sri Lanka was held at Manhattan College on May 3, and was reported in the May 9 edition of The Riverdale Press.