In the Name of God: The Extremely and Eternally Loving and Caring

Je suis si triste aujourd’hui. In a series of barbaric attacks on civilians, the savages of ISIS claimed responsibility for an attack that killed 129 people and injured hundreds more, including Americans. The city of Paris, the country of France, and the entire world – including its Muslims – mourns and expresses its outrage and anger at such vicious barbarity. Moreover, this attack has hit me personally.

First, the savages behind this attack claim to do so in the name of my faith. In fact, ISIS began its statement claiming responsbility saying, “In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Beneficent.” That is so offensive to me.

Our faith is too sacred, too holy, too beautiful to have these blood-thirsty monsters use it as justification. The Most Merciful God to whom they refer does not agree with what they did; the Most Merciful God to whom they refer has repeatedly said that such vicious killing is wrong; the Most Mericful God to whom they refer has made all life sacred, and what the savages of ISIS did will be punished by God, in this world or the next.

Yet, in addition, the fact that Paris was hit wounded me even more. This past summer, my wife and I were blessed to visit Paris on vacation. We were capitvated by all Paris had to offer: her history, her beauty, and her culture. Yet, I must admit that I was a bit nervous. I was nervous about how we would be received as Muslims, given the fact that savages in January killed 16 people at the offices of Charlie Hebdo. Soon after I arrived, however, I felt terrible, because I misjudged Paris and her people terribly.

Every single person, to a tee, could not have been nicer to us. We were treated with the utmost respect and courtesy. Everyone made us feel welcome, and it made our trip that much more enjoyable. I can’t wait to go back and visit Paris again.  Thus, to see that city – and her people – attacked in such a brutal matter hit me that much harder.

But, I also must admit that, in my multiple tweets condemning the attacks and expressing my sympathy, I fell short. Just the day before, the savages of ISIS killed over 40 people in twin bombings in Beirut, in a mostly Shi’ite neighboorhod. I did shake my head in digust after reading the news; I did pray for the victims of this horrific attack; but, I did not take to social media like I did after Paris. I ask the Lord for forgiveness for that.

No life is more important than another. An attack by ISIS in Beirut is just as heinous as an attack by those savages in Paris. While I can’t deny that the attacks in Paris hit me more at home than did the ones in Beirut, all violence against the innocent is wrong, and I stand perpetually against such violence – no matter who the perpetrator, and no matter who the victim.

Mon coeur saigne pour Paris aujourd’hui.

My heart bleeds for Paris today. But my heart also bleeds for all cities and all people who are ravaged by the vicious savages of our world. Beloved Lord our God, keep Paris safe today, tonight, and always. Beloved Lord our God, keep all of our cities, our towns, our homes, and our countries safe from the ill designs of those who seek to commit evil. Beloved Lord our God, destroy all those who kill and plunder and defile in Your Name, for Your Name is way too holy, way to sacred, way to beautiful to be used for such filth. Amen.

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