Vigil sets an example

Published 10:46 am Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Racial violence and instances of hate speech have created conversations on a national and local scale. Awful and unsettling in their own right, a different sensation forms when these incidents strike one’s hometown.

Vandalism targeted the outside wall of the Islamic Center of Prince Edward County’s mosque last Wednesday and sent a hateful message to members of the Farmville community and members of the faith community, a message countered by concern, outrage and action.

One action took place at the Prince Edward Court House steps Sunday afternoon, where members of Christian and Islamic faiths, among others, spoke in support and solidarity, exchanging encouragements, hugs, expressions of faith and messages of love.

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In times when various faith groups and races face crimes related to hate and bigotry, action has been key. Gestures from phone calls, to painting a wall, to a hug, to holding a vigil downtown are actions that show solidarity — valuing the individual and that promises to support in the face of hate.

Action can and should be taken by every one of us — something that I’ve seen so many in Farmville do. This could include learning of and supporting various organizations and religions one might not be initially acquainted with, or if you have societal advantages, lending an ear and support to those who have faced social injustice.

Mosque Imam Khalil Latif said during the vigil that “We can set an example for the rest of the world.” Let’s do so.

Emily Hollingsworth is a staff reporter for The Farmville Herald and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. Her email address is