Don’t let violence deter tolerance

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Originally published in the Tulsa World

My Sept. 19 morning started off most joyfully as my wife was granted citizenship in a beautiful ceremony at the U.S. District Court in Muskogee.

I hardly had a chance to appreciate this great privilege, when I saw the disturbing headline about a man in Moore, said to have been a Muslim convert, committing a most horrific act.

 My heart aches on hearing the gruesome details of this act. My sincerest condolences go out to the victim’s family, and I have the deepest gratitude for the hero who put an end to the rampage.

This act, however, could not be further from Prophet Muhammad’s example. Muhammad acted to deter people from violence rather than allowing them to behave as sociopaths.

Although it is heart-wrenching for me to see that this act, both because of the victim who lost her life, and also because some wrongly attribute it to Islam, one thought gives me great comfort. My wife’s citizenship ceremony showed me once again that surely we as Americans will not let fear and violence dissuade us from condemning extremism, or from acting with tolerance and acceptance of American Muslims.

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