The religious leaders who comprise the Interfaith Fellowship of Augusta strongly condemn the threats against the Islamic community that were reported in Friday’s Chronicle.
That comes as no surprise to anyone including, we are sure, the person making the threats. But it is really simpler than that.
Such threats are just wrong. We can invoke the admonitions of all religions about treating others with dignity and justice, but everyone with a shred of decency knows it is wrong. There is no moral universe in which threatening men, women and children with death because they look different or worship differently than we do can be justified.
There is no “yes, but…”
Unfortunately we live in a time and place in which such threats occur with some regularity, and they are becoming more common. It is up to each of us to say, “no more!” When we hear someone make a disparaging remark or a joke about Muslims, Sikhs, Jews, Catholics, Arabs, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians – anyone of a different ethnicity or religion – we must speak up.
We no longer have the luxury of just turning away or laughing uneasily. We know it is wrong, otherwise it wouldn’t make us uneasy. Silence contributes to the atmosphere that some angry or hurting people think justifies their actions.
It is hard to call family and friends on such statements. After all, we love or like them and don’t want to make them uncomfortable. Confrontation makes most of us uncomfortable.
But think how uncomfortable the 8-year-old boy is when he learns that someone wants to kill him just because of who he is or the young mother or father who has to answer his questions. If we move out of our comfort zone, we can take back our country from the haters.
Interfaith Fellowship of Augusta