The Muslim Problem

Thomas L. Friedman wrote a great op-ed piece in the NY Times about the bombings in London

The writer says:

"So this is a critical moment. We must do all we can to limit the civilizational fallout from this bombing. But this is not going to be easy."

And then goes on to put the greater portion of the burden on the "Muslim village" i.e. the elders, religious leaders, and others in influential roles, who can exercise restraint.

While I do not disagree with this strategy, I think it is too one-sided. What about the rest of us, so-called Western people? What do our Western values tell us we ought to do?

The writer is concerned that, if the West takes charge of this problem, the masculine aspect of our Western psyche will come to the fore: use of force, internments, and the like.

That doesn't have to be. We have other sides to our nature.

As the child of faith-filled and religious parents (my mom was Jewish and my dad was Irish Catholic), who went to Catholic school and attended Mass every Sunday (and still do 50 years later), I have been formed in a tradition that says there is another way. It's not an easy way...certainly far more difficult than using violence to settle things.

It's not easy because it runs counter to our programming, our baser instincts to lash out, to have our revenge, to obtain that eye for an eye. We are more practiced at this. We have applied far more resource to building our skill in this approach.

It's not easy because it says there is a higher purpose that we, people of all faiths, are called to. Hearing that call...and really heeding not easy. There are other gods that we listen to, that speak more loudly to us, that drown out that quiet whisper of the one that created us all.

I pray that we may find a just path to peace in this world.


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