The death toll from this week's terrorist attacks in New York, Pennsylvania
and Washington, D.C., is going to be staggering, once the figures become clear.
Already the number of men, women and children killed is soaring into the thousands
and will be painfully added to as searchers continue to sift through the compressed
remains of the twin buildings that once stood well above the New York City skyline
as well as the damaged portion of the Pentagon.
The numbers are made all the more stunning because we're talking about people of
different ages, lifestyles, beliefs, ethnicities...
And undoubtedly for almost all of those victims, especially the citizens of
this country, they died with an overwhelming belief in the principles that the
United States, embodied in such documents as the Declaration of Independence,
the Constitution, the Bill of Rights.
Americans who "survived" this act of evil should make sure that the
freedoms they believe in, and which we enjoy on these shores and across this
great nation, do not become the next casualty.
Specifically, we should not be targeting those citizens and non-citizens in
this country who are practicing Muslims or who dress according to their nation
of origin or speak with accented English or who look "Middle Eastern or
Arabic" simply because at this time culprits who perpetrated this horror
are thought to have come from the Middle East.
Our response to this despicable and cowardly act can't be to lash out at other
innocents because of their nationality or religious beliefs. If religion was
used as justification for killing thousands then those beliefs have been twisted
and corrupted to fit vicious and evil thinking. The Koran, like the Bible, does
not sanctify the taking of lives in such a cause.
What makes the United States so different from the other countries of the world
is that people here can worship as they please, dress as they please, express
their differences and even speak out against government policy.
Those are freedoms we all cherish- but they are freedoms that others find threatening.
Wanting to act, wanting to seek revenge or retribution are understandable after
such unbelievable and terrible events.
But we must not lower ourselves to the level of those who committed and backed
We must show that the ideals and freedoms we take for granted will rise above
and prevail over the cowards who attacked this nation.
The issue: Reacting to this week's events by targeting practicing
Muslims or those who appear to come from the Middle East.
Our opinion: Our response should not be to lash out at other
innocents. What makes us different from other countries in the world is our
ability to worship, dress and express ourselves. The freedoms and ideals we
take for granted must prevail.