The Common Good

Waging Peace During Threats of Terrorism

We've all heard the horrible news of the threatening packages sent from Yemen and reportedly addressed to Jewish synagogues in Chicago. Any act of terrorism is unconscionable, and any attack on houses of worship is to be denounced in the clearest of terms. But in the midst of news coverage that tends to emphasize hostility and fuel fear, I hope we all realize that there are people of good will from every faith tradition committed to building bridges and waging peace.

Related Reading

Take Action on This Issue

Circle of Protection for a Moral Budget

A pledge by church leaders from diverse theological and political beliefs who have come together to form a Circle of Protection around programs that serve the most vulnerable in our nation and around the world.

An American Muslim man I've recently become acquainted with sent this email to a group of our mutual friends:

To my dear Jewish brothers and friends,

On behalf of our community, colleagues, family and myself, we condemn in the strongest terms the act (of those who sent) suspected packages, with explosives, reportedly addressed to Jewish places of worship. We are greatly relieved that the plot has been uncovered and interrupted.

We stand shoulder-to-shoulder, hand-to-hand -- unified in solidarity with our Jewish brothers and all partners in justice and peace -- to defend with our lives, our homeland as well as the sanctity, safety and security of synagogues and all places of worship. We need to remain vigilant and unified in defending our freedom to worship and our incessant quest for justice and peace for all.

Your brother under God,
Shafic Budron

One of the recipients of Shafic's email is a Chicago rabbi who is an articulate Jewish promoter of peace. I'll be meeting with this rabbi in the coming weeks, grateful for the privilege of learning from a wise man committed to justice and security for all people.

We live in a culture where threats of terrorism make for captivating news stories and where fear of the "other" too often trumps relationship. But thankfully that's not the whole story -- as I'm learning from my new Muslim and Jewish friends. Shafic wrote to me this morning that those committed to waging peace "are a part of the silent majority that needs to emerge and lead." I couldn't agree more.

Lynne Hybels, co-founder of Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois, is author of Nice Girls Don't Change the World.

Sojourners relies on the support of readers like you to sustain our message and ministry.

Related Stories

Resources

Like what you're reading? Get Sojourners E-Mail updates!

Sojourners Comment Community Covenant

I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for every member of the Sojourners online community, especially toward those with whom I disagree, even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

I will express my disagreements with other community members' ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

I will not exaggerate others' beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

I will hold others accountable by clicking "report" on comments that violate these principles, based not on what ideas are expressed but on how they're expressed. (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

I understand that comments reported as abusive are reviewed by Sojourners staff and are subject to removal. Repeat offenders will be blocked from making further comments. (Proverbs 18:7)