It’s been a weekend of horror. Or, perhaps, a month of horror. Or, perhaps…
Over 300 people have been killed in terrorist attacks within the last month.
Attacks which have heavily targeted civilians in the Muslim world, wreaking terror in Istanbul, Turkey; Mogadishu, Somalia; Al Qaa, Lebanon; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Medina, Qatif, and Jidda Saudi Arabia; and Baghdad, Iraq – where a bombing of a crowded marketplace killed over 200 people.
This is the holiest time of the Islamic calendar. A month of spiritual reflection, of fasting, of peace.
The attack in Medina took place outside the mosque which serves as the resting place the resting place of the Prophet Mohammed. The second holiest site in Islam, millions of pilgrims travel there each year, “to pray in his mosque, to sit where he once sat.” Especially now, during the last ten days of Ramadan. As scholar Haroon Moghul put it, the attack on Medina was “an assault on Islam itself.”
In Baghdad, one witness described the scene before the attacks as a “delightful atmosphere.” The attack took place at night, after the day’s fast. The streets were crowded with people “shopping and celebrating ahead of the upcoming Eid al-Fitr holiday on Wednesday, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.” These are the people who died.
If there was ever any doubt that the brutal horror of Daesh is anti-Islamic, let that thought be put to rest.
I hardly know what else to say.
There is enough hate in the world already, enough hatred of difference, of plurality. Too many people have died, too many keep dying. Terrorists are waging a war of hate, a war they can only win if they convince us to hate each other.
But hate is too great a burden to bear; I have chosen love.