Letter: Terrorists don't represent Islam

Peace be with you.

This is a common greeting among Christians, Muslims and Jews. Peace was not to be found in Mosul recently. Terrorists claiming to be the new Islamic caliphate insisted Christians either convert or face severe consequences, even death. Nothing about them represents Islam.

So terrible an offense to Islam is this action of terrorists that even the spiritual leader of jihadis in Jordan has condemned this as contrary to jihad, contrary to Islam and insult to all Muslims. There are other voices in the Islamic world that have formed alliances such as "Muslims Against Terror."

This terrorist organization is an affront to all Muslims. It is no more an example of Islam than the Orange Volunteers of Northern Ireland are of Protestants or the NLFT in North Eastern India are of Christians in general. All extremism in the name of religion is outright evil and contrary to the God and the religious label they claim.

Ramadan ended Monday. The holy month for Muslims is to fast and deepen compassion in their hearts for those who are weaker and vulnerable. Not only are they to deepen religious sensibilities such as restraint and discipline, but also deepen their religious obligation to charity. Many of us Christians do a limited fast for 40 days or shorter periods for those seeking a strict fast. But none of our fasts compare to the strict Islamic fast of Ramadan: no food or water from sunrise to sunset.

Thus in admiration I extend peace to our brothers and sisters here in Kingman who serve in our medical community and other peace-building occupations that they be seen as the real face of Islam and not be besmirched by extremists who offend all that is holy and good in humanity. May you be greeted with peace and not suspicion, and I hope you had a great feast at the end of Ramadan.

Peace be with you.

Fr. Leonard Walker