On February 23, Libya was convulsed in civil revolt. Oil prices spiked, and stock values plummeted. Meanwhile, in
New Jersey, a dog was euthanized. God
forgive me, but it is this last event that I will remember.
Last month I posted about Rais
Bhuiyan, the Muslim hate crime victim who is advocating
that his attacker, who shot Bhuiyan as part of a post-9/11 shooting spree in
which two other victims were killed, be spared the death penalty.
Thomas Merton was a monk, a poet, a contemplative, a peace activist, a nurturer of interreligious dialogue—and much more. Countless books have been written exploring most of these facets of Merton's life and work in the years since his tragic death in 1968.
Dramatic conversion stories are the exception, not the rule,
in the life of faith. Coming to faith usually involves a gradual adjustment of
one's vision and habits, rather than the kind of dramatic turnaround described
in those oft-sung words of "Amazing Grace": "I once was lost, but now am found,
was blind but now I see." Life is rarely so black and white.
Most Bosnian Muslims living in America—Bosniaks, as they are called— immigrated during the Balkan wars, from 1992 to 1995. They don’t fit the stereotype of what a Muslim looks like. The women rarely wear the hijab, except for prayers. Bosnians blend into American society fairly well. Bosnian Muslims will often overhear other Americans speaking pejoratively about Muslims. When Bosniaks announce they are Muslims, coworkers and neighbors are shocked (Los Angeles Times, July 4).