I can't believe the news out of Ft. Hood, Texas. It's awful.
A shooting, by a soldier, of soldiers. Oh no. And by a mental health professional. A tragedy.
I just learned that a dear friend in my congregation has a step-son at Ft. Hood. He's not one of those directly affected, but of course he'll be touched. We all will. She's got another step-son in Iraq. You think you know what to worry about. Then, horrible things happen.
And then, to learn that the shooter is Muslim. Oh no. It's been so hard to be a faithful follower of Islam here in the states for so long. Islam is a religion with a deep commitment to peace and love and giving. But that's not what most people think. Most Americans think that Islam is a violent religion. It's not. Really, it's not. No.
On Thursday night, CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) Executive Director Nihad Awad told a news conference the alleged Fort Hood attacker's motive remained unknown."We urge all Americans to remain calm in reaction to this tragic event and to demonstrate once again what is best about America -- our nation's ability to remain unified even in times of crisis," Awad said. "We urge national political and religious leaders and media professionals to set a tone of calm and unity.
"Unfortunately, based on past experience, we also urge American Muslims, and those who may be perceived to be Muslim, to take appropriate precautions to protect themselves, their families and their religious institutions from possible backlash."
My husband, who is a transracially adopted Korean man, has had a similar experience. When the US is angry at North Korea, people perceive him as North Korean. When the US is angry at China, people perceive him as Chinese.
Our kids, too. They've been asked if they're half North Korean or South Korean. Really? Come ON now people. Come on.
As I work with my LREDA Board commitments to look deeply into Interfaith work, I wonder. Really? Really. Maybe it's time to go spend a night at my local mosque, as a physical show of interfaith commitment to peace. Peace. peace.