Friday, April 1, 2011

Koran burning in Florida, death in Afganistan

I have received a horrible shock today.  When I returned home from picking my son up at school, I learned, via an email from Truth-out.org, that U.N. staff members in Afghanistan have been killed in reaction to a Florida-based Church burning the Koran. Protesters and UN staff alike have died today in an angry reaction to the ideologically violent act of burning the holy book of a faith.

I am saddened by the deaths and horrified that people believe that they have a right to denigrate and defile other people's beliefs.  I am angry that people, in this day and age, still have not learned to respect and honor the different manifestations of the human experience. Age, gender, faith and sexual orientation continue to be the points by which people are oppressed, vilified, dehumanized and harmed.

To the families of those people killed today, I wish to send my condolences and sorrow for their loss.  This tragedy need never have happened.

To the people of the Muslim world, especially those in the occupied nations of Afghanistan and Iraq, I send my hope that the world can heal from this, without further violence, and ask that peaceful protests be considered in response to the actions of a group of bigoted and foolish people, so that other lives not be lost to an ideological fight that has gone on for far too many centuries.

To the people of the United States, please remember that action and inaction have consequences, that can span the globe in this age of instant information.  We have freedom to worship according to our consciences and freedom to express our opinions; however, we should temper these freedoms with the knowledge that other people are denied these rights and that we do not have the right to tell other people what they should believe or what to say.  

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