July 10, 2016, Orange County, CA — Faith and community leaders, along with local law enforcement officers in Irvine, gathered together on the corner of Alton & Culver in Irvine to denounce hate, violence and racism in United States and around the world. They community gathered to reaffirm their commitment to peace with justice and declare their mutual respect, affinity and love for each other as members of one human family.
Ilker Yildiz, Director of Pacifica Institute’s Orange County also joined and shared a speech on behalf of the Institute, condemning all attacks around the world and sending a message of love and togetherness to all of humanity.
Below is the message he shared:
“As a Muslim, I would like to express how much it breaks my heart, how much it saddens me, that the reason we have come together tonight is because of the tragedies that we have heard and keep hearing of too often. I would have loved to come together for happier reasons but, alas, it is these tragedies that have brought us together. But how blessed we are that we have each other for the support and love we need, especially in times like these.
We, as the Pacifica community, stand against and condemn all forms of religious and other forms of extremism that teach hatred and bring out violence around the world. We have been hearing and seeing too many of these atrocities. Some have hit closer to home, like the recent explosions in Istanbul, others have occurred in places that we only know from afar. Yet all of them have a place in our heart. We mourn with the people of Yemen, Afghanistan, Cameroon, Somalia, Bangladesh, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Pakistan, Nigeria, Turkey, France, Belgium, and those in our home in USA.
We send our sincerest condolences and pray that, in the end, our values of mutual respect and our commitment to the dignity of every human life will win over fear and hatred. We are one family and our hearts are wide enough to embrace every one of our brothers and sisters around the world.
It is too easy to turn our backs on others with fear and hate. It takes a strong effort to build relationships and love one another. We must make that effort because that is the value instilled in our natures and we deserve to fulfill the best of our potential. O our beloved Lord, guide us in our efforts and help us bring about the beauty we are longing for in our world today. Amin “