I raise that question because there is a general sense in the country that Americans don’t want to get involved with Syria’s meltdown. Polling data is clear about that.
But shouldn’t people of faith in the U.S. at least be making a cause out of the deaths that are happening there?
After Rwanda, many Americans said we can’t let a massacre like that happen again. Well, a leader is brutalizing his people and there aren’t many howls about it. There may be the occasional statement, but not much more than that.
Is this because of a fear of American power getting out of hand? Is it because we are weary of the Mideast? Is it because we don’t know what to do about the situation? Is it because we don’t want to side with any of the players? Is it because of something else?
I would like to hear your thoughts about this issue. It’s one thing to not get involved militarily in Syria. But do religious leaders and institutions in the U.S. not have some responsibility to speak out against the atrocities, pray for the victims and raise moral questions?
MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas, and Speaker on interfaith matters, diversity and pluralism
As a pluralist and a Muslim, and as one who has stood up and spoken against every possible atrocity, prejudice and massacre, and as one who organizes the annual Holocaust and Genocides commemoration in Dallas, I am guilty of not giving due attention to the atrocities of Assad on the people of Syria. Shame on me!
Thanks for the opportunity for repentance through this blog entry. There is no excuse for our nonchalant attitudes given the scale of the massacre. Mr. McKenzie is right: We, as people of faith, should be making a cause out of the deaths that are happening in Syria.
A Syrian friend had shared with me videos of bombings and children being killed during his visits to Syria. However, there was that glimmer of hope that Assad would lose and people would determine their own destiny.
But this conflict is morphing into a battle between the Shia, Sunni and the Alawites. And that could deepen the chasm between the groups.
So, what can people of faith do? We have to do what spiritual masters like Jesus, and Muhammad have done, and that is mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill. We might consider a delegation of Shia, Sunni, and Alawite Muslims, along with Christians and Jews, to invoke humility. Let’s not discount the power of prayer to communicate to the Syrians that we care.
What can the United States do? A lot of things besides the rhetoric. We need to get the Organization of Islamic Conference, a body of 56 Muslim-majority nations, to negotiate and bring a closure to this conflict. What is the point of having a body, if they can’t do that?
What we should not do is arm the rebels and cause more fighting, nor should we bomb like maniacs. We cannot be a party to death and destruction, as we have been in the past. Nor should we allow Americans to get burned at home through this conflict.
The last choice is to drone the guy and take him out with least collateral damage.
We do have the moral responsibility to restore the safety of every human.
Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel,India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place. He is committed to building a Cohesive Americaand offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. He believes in Standing up for others and has done that throughout his life as an activist. Mike has a presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News; fortnightly at Huffington post; and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes his work through many links.