The Harm in Fear…

Dear Editor,

Recently, concerned parents shut down a Virginia school when a teacher tried to introduce students to Islam. Similarly, Linda Dunn, in her editorial, does not want Islam “even talked about” in our schools.

Muslims inhabit twenty-two percent of earth. If we let fear rule, and refuse to know and understand them, we can’t experience the necessary compassion for our near and far planetary neighbors and thus live towards a more peaceful world. Let fear censure the discussion of other religions and we are going backward.

Fear is valid if it is based in truth; if not, it is terribly harmful.

Very interesting, if you look and listen just a little you will find, though Islam is a complex religion, it’s roots are similar to Christianity: It is a religion of mercy, rooted in peace, personal freedom, tolerance and charity. They believe in one God. Muslims call our shared God, Allah—simply a different language. They have respect for the Bible and the Torah, sacred texts that share similar sacred places. They have many worthy prophet/teachers I would like to have dinner with.

One important Quran superhero is Jesus. In their Quran, Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary, was a messenger of God, had disciples and will return in the 2nd Coming. They believe in heaven, hell and Judgment Day; also the Ten Commandments and angels. Terrorism is strictly forbidden.

Does the horrible suffering and bloodshed caused by those who claim to act in the name of Islam follow the true Quran? Absolutely not! Has abundant blood been shed in the name of Christianity (the Crusades, for one)?…again, yes! Do the terrorists represent any significant portion of the 1.6 billion Muslims? No! It would seem foolish to condemn a whole religion for the acts of a minority. This is what FDR meant when he said “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” We have to clearly separate the dark from the light, the true from the false, and in the end embrace the vast majority who want the peace and love we all seek.

Chris White
Sandpoint

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