Two events have happened in the past 48 hours on the global scene that bear comment by the Islamic Center of Southern California.
The news overnight out of Egypt, of at least 235 Muslims being massacred by terrorists at a mosque in the Sinai region of that country marks yet another level of evil, a scale of disregard for the God given miracle of human life, that shocks and saddens the conscious of all normal and decent people. We pray God enters into paradise the innocent who were killed; we pray He envelopes with His mercy and comfort the family and friends of those suffering from this traumatic loss. We pray God brings to justice the perpetrators of this evil act. His is the best of justice.
Also of importance is Wednesday’s conviction in The Hague of Serbian military general Ratko Mladic – also known as the “Butcher of Bosnia”. He was convicted of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. He orchestrated the genocide of over 45,000 Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina during the Bosnian war of 1992-1995. At the age of 75 he was sentenced to life in prison. Mladic’s evil cannot be sufficiently punished in this life. For believers in God, we know his ultimate fate lies with the Almighty. We applaud The Hague in their pursuit of justice.
These two events are linked. They represent the violence and oppression perpetrated upon another simply because of a difference in faith or thought. In Egypt, those attacked were defenseless Sufi’s – representing a different approach to practicing Islam. In Bosnia it was defenseless Muslims, of all persuasions, who were simply targeted because of their belief.
For us Muslims in the United States, we should feel more than the natural sorrow or grief these events bring. In fact we should feel a burden. That while living in a free society, we feel the burden to spark a renaissance in thought and approach to our faith that becomes a model for the rest of the world. A spark of renewal, rooted in the everlasting Quranic message emphasizing mercy (21:107), justice (4:135), peace (8:61), human dignity (17:70), freedom (2:256), and equality for all (49:13).
As long as God wills, the Islamic Center of Southern California continues its work to serve the community, both near and far.
May God guide us all as we strive only in His cause.