September 13, 2012, 3:53 PM
I join the ranks of those heartsick at the news of the tragic deaths of U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and three colleagues. By all accounts, Ambassador Stevens was a dedicated public servant who again and again put himself at risk to help serve the hopes and aspirations of peace loving, freedom seeking people in the countries where he served.
I join all those who grieve their loss, especially their families and loved ones.
And I join the ranks of those outraged that religion has again been distorted into a means of vengeance. Regardless of the name of the religion, this is wrong.
As we condemn criminal violence perpetrated in the name of religion, I believe we must also stand in solidarity with those who stand up against the crimes committed in the name of their faith.
In this spirit, I applaud statements on these tragic events by organizations like the Islamic Network Group, which notes, “…it is important to emphasize that it is a greater defamation of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad and the Qur’an to react with violence and murder of innocent people– one of the greatest sins in Islam–than any claimed insult from an Islamophobic film.”
Together, as citizens of this Earth, we must redouble our efforts to weave a fabric of community based on the highest ideals of our faiths and a profound commitment to mutual respect for those of any tradition who are committed to laboring together in the field of peace, justice and healing.