A year or two after the 9/11 terrorist attacks I attended a seminar in the Washington, D.C., area about Islam in America.
It was clear that both the immigrant stream of Muslims and the African-American convert stream were trying to figure out how to live out traditional Islam in the United States in a time when all Muslims seemed suspicious to many Americans.
The level of suspicion may not be quite as high today, though it's still at a troubling level as prejudice and rumor often overwhelm fact and our heritage of religious freedom.
With that background, I was struck by this piece I read in my now-digital version of Newsweek the other day.
It suggests that the best way to fight extremism engaged in by some Muslims is to build more mosques in the U.S., not fewer.
It quoted Jocelyne Cesari, a Harvard Divinity School lecturer, as saying that supporting a strong Islamic community won't add to radicalism but, rather, prevent it.
In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, this is an important lesson that we'd all do well to heed. And after the brutal murder on London's streets this week, the United Kingdom might want to evaluate whether this advice would be good there, too.)
(The picture here of the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Mich., is one I took a few years ago and is an example of the kind of mosques needed for Muslims in the U.S.)
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BEING VIGILANT ABOUT HATRED
Let's continue to be aware that virulent antisemites such as Louis Farrakhan continue to spew their toxic hatred, this time with some elected officials present. It's easy to think that such prejudice is a thing of the past, but it must always be found and exposed.