Message from President Timmy Sullivan
Monday, March 18, 2019
I express my deepest condolences to the families who lost loved ones this past week in New Zealand and wish peace upon those whose lives were unjustly stolen.
إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ
I am carrying the names of those who were taken from us, the names of those still recovering – may they have a rapid and healthy recovery – and their families in my heart.
I also extend my love and support to all our Muslim peers, students, faculty, and community members. We are proud to share our town, school, and workplace with you. You are valued members of the Amherst community, and as your neighbors we will actively affirm your home here. Last week’s terrorist attack is heart-wrenching; it is further distressing to know that the terror in New Zealand is not isolated, but exists in a global rise of Islamophobia.
I unequivocally reject white supremacy, Islamophobia, and bigotry plaguing our international and local society. We must stand vigilant against these hateful ideologies which corrode the united fabric of our home. This type of divisive terror is afraid of the solidarity we’ve built across difference; it fears the potent truth we’ve uncovered that rejoicing in our difference across religion, race, gender, and sexual orientation makes us a stronger and healthier society. Our strongest recourse is to affirm our love for each other, to rise up with our neighbors against injustice, and to build our communities even more supportive than they were before.
It is important to center in our actions the healing process sought out by our siblings affected by this tragedy. I encourage all of our students to lead forward with love as we stand in solidarity with our campus and the global Muslim community and actively build societies that ensure peace.