Dear Associate Professor Matthewman (Steve)
I write to you on behalf of the TASA Executive to express our deepest sympathy to our Aotearoa-New Zealand colleagues in SAANZ following the Christchurch terror attacks. We offer a particular message of support to members in Christchurch, members of Muslim heritage and those directly affected by Friday’s tragedy. The shocking and callous attack on the Muslim community at a time and place both sacred and vulnerable was an attack on a city finding its feet after previous tragedy. It is also a profound attack on shared values of peace, tolerance and respect for diversity and human rights. Many of our TASA members have deep connections to New Zealand and are feeling the impact of this attack but we also recognise with horror that the person responsible was Australian and his violent extremism cultivated here. Your TASA neighbours have you in our thoughts but realise it is also a time for action. It is a time to commit sociology, to renew our efforts to understand and counter the roots of extremism and hate, particularly at this time the dangers of white supremacy, its narrative and the politics that supports it.
As friends and colleagues, you are in our hearts this week and we offer solidarity as the New Zealand community heals and repairs.