JAINA (Federation of Jain Association in North America) calls on all public officials and interfaith leaders to continue to condemn the Aug. 12, 2017 white nationalist terror attack at the Virginia Anti-Racist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those attacked and especially Heather Heyer, who was killed, including the police officers (Berke Bates and Jay Cullen) who died in the crash of their helicopter, and all those injured by the terrorist fanatic who drove into a crowd of protesters.
We denounce all manifestations of white nationalist/supremacist hatred and bigotry in the same way that we have denounced similar actions in past years, by those who falsely claim to be acting in the name of Islam or other religions. Anyone who perpetrates such actions is a vile criminal and needs to be labeled as a terrorist murderer.
We thank interfaith and civil rights groups that are standing up against these groups and sentiments. We also thank law enforcement agencies for all their efforts, and Virginia state and congressional officials for their strong condemnation of this horrific attack.
JAINA also condemns the Aug. 5, 2017 IED bombing and apparent terror attack hate crime committed against the Minneapolis mosque. While relieved that nobody was harmed in this attack, we commend the governor of Minnesota who called this a terrorist act. We commend all Minnesota civic and law enforcement officials, and interfaith leaders, for their support for the Minneapolis Muslim community. We appreciate the FBI taking the lead on this investigation, and urge this be investigated as hate and terrorist crime against Americans, with the perpetrators prosecuted accordingly.
JAINA moreover condemns the murder of Subag Singh and Simranjit Singh of California, in separate and unrelated incidents. Sikh Americans wear turbans as a commitment to their faith, but too often people mis-identify them as Muslim and target them in anti-Muslim hate crimes.
JAINA would encourage a peaceful dialogue and discourse between the parties to help facilitate a peaceful solution. JAINA believes in the principles of non-violence (ahimsa), live and help live, and we have thousands of years of experience adhering to these principles.
Gunvant and Hemant Shah