By Dr. Warren Larson
Images of what a 24-year-old, white male did at a mosque in Christchurch, reminded me of something: “We have seen the face of evil and it is us.” I also recalled a similar incident much closer to home. It happened in the historic city of Charleston, South Carolina, one hour from where my wife, Carol, and I lived for sixteen years. A 21-year old white male killed nine African-Americans during a prayer service in one of America’s oldest black churches. This became known as the Charleston Church Massacre. The two incidents have several things in common: Both were done by white supremacists, both attackers said they wanted to start a race war, and both were carried out while people prayed.
It has often been said that the greatest threat in the 21st century is Islamic terrorism. It is a threat, but so is bigotry, hatred and racism toward others who are different than we are—different because they don’t look like us, believe like us, think like us or behave like us. Islamophobia can easily morph into Muslim phobia, and in certain contexts, Muslims are a persecuted minority.
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