The abhorrent act of violence against the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo leaves me stunned (“Scarred mosque starts cleanup; Smoke, water damage reaches into every room of building,” Oct. 5).
People fear and hate what they do not understand. It is not Islam, nor any other religion, that is causing the violence in the world. The problem is the personal interpretation and application of beliefs by some fanatics.
After the 9/11 attacks, people decried the savagery brought about by a few on the fringe of the Islamic faith. People of all faiths lost their lives that day, and continue to do so in wars and violent protests in the name of religion.
I refuse to believe that God is honored by this stupidity done in His name.
Religions not evil; abusers are
As a member of the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo, I express my gratitude to the Perrysburg Township fire and police departments and the agencies that were involved in extinguishing the fire and making an arrest in the recent arson attack.
The firefighters were patient with the mosque’s members, as they answered questions and tried to comfort us with a smile and reassurance.
The actions of an individual or a small group of people do not define or represent a nation or a religion. No religion is evil. Those who manipulate religion or take the law into their own hands out of greed, arrogance, and ignorance are evil.
The men and women who continue to help us during this crisis are heroes. God bless them, and God bless the United States.
Islam deserves no special treatment
Dr. Mahjabeen Islam, the Islamic Center’s president, said that the center “will work with our legislators to make Islamophobia a crime under federal law.” (“Multifaith gathering advocates unity; 600 pray together week after arson at Islamic Center,” Oct. 8).
Our nation was founded on the separation of church and state, and we treasure our freedom of speech. Followers of every religion who worship here must realize this and accept it.
Thinking that Islam deserves special treatment that is not expected by other religions leads to resentment that feeds the phobia.
Where was Catholic leader?
Present at the interfaith service at the Islamic Center were civic leaders, the heads of various denominations and religious traditions, and members of interfaith organizations serving Toledo and their various Protestant representatives.
Notably lacking was any official representative of the Catholic Diocese of Toledo, the largest group of Christians in the Toledo area.
We Catholics who attended shook our heads with embarrassment. Had we known that no one from the chancery would attend or lend verbal support, one of us would have risen to the occasion to say whatever we could.
What message was sent as a result of this insult? Was it the message that we Catholics wanted to send about evangelization and interfaith relations with our neighbors?