Breaking News
More () »

Knoxville Muslim community: When is this going to stop?

"We're living on this planet together, and yes there are differences between us, but at the core our values are the same."

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — A mass shooting in New Zealand is weighing heavy on the hearts of a Knoxville community. 

49 people died after shots rang out at two mosques in the city of Christchurch.

Thousands of miles away from that tragedy, Knoxville's Muslim community feels the pain of that loss.

"When one part of the community hurts, the whole community hurts," said Amira Hamed, who helps run both Muslim and interfaith youth groups in Knoxville. "We all feel it. But what's happening is we're noticing that our brothers and sisters in other faiths, the same thing is happening to them."

RELATED: 49 killed at mosques in 'one of New Zealand's darkest days'

Hamed said the Islamic community is a peaceful one, and she's sick of her culture, and others, being targeted.

"Innocence is innocence. Humanity is humanity," she said. "We live on this planet together. When is it going to stop?"

It starts with knowing your neighbors. That's according to Moira Connelly with the Allies of Knoxville's Immigrant Neighbors.

"We want to work together to make this a better place for everybody, and we have much, much more in common than we have in differences," she said.

According to the TBI, 12 hate crimes were reported in Knox County in 2017 by the Knoxville Police Department and the Knox County Sheriff's Office.

Those reported crimes targeted African-American, Hispanic and LGBTQ individuals.

RELATED: How you can support New Zealand attack victims and their families

"We're living on this planet together, and yes there are differences between us, but at the core our values are the same," said Hamed.

She said change starts with children, who she worries will grow up only seeing hate across the world.

"The youth deserve to grow up in a world better than this, and we are better than this. And we can do it. And we will. It won't always be like this," said Hamed.

The Muslim community of Knoxville is doing a special reading of the Quran in memory of the victims in New Zealand.

They thank their neighbors in Knoxville for the support they've shown. 


Paid Advertisement