Then came the anger.
Anger is a natural part of grief. While I support the need to get answers and seek justice, I have never been okay with the vilification of Islam. I grew up with many Muslims and my experience with Islam has always been positive. The first time I heard Toby Keith sing about lighting up the sky and putting his boot in someones ass, I was HORRIFIED. I will not listed to his music even now because of it. I could not support something called Shock and Awe - the ones who truly suffered had NOTHING to do with our tragedy. I think about the terror of children woken from their sleep to the sound of bombs. Thousands of innocent Iraqi people are dead. I believe wholeheartedly in accountability and consequences, but not revenge. It bothers me that some waive the American flag while spewing anger and hate and intolerance. This quote by Barbara Kingsolver is one of my favorites:
About a year after the attacks, I was in a new area in Ohio knocking on doors on a beautiful summer night and met the most wonderful Muslim family. They invited us to sit on the porch with them and enjoy the night air. We spent the time talking about all of the things our religions have in common and our hopes for the world. I learned much more about Islam and I left that porch with an even deeper understanding and respect for it.
My heart goes out to all who have lost loved ones in this conflict - all over the world. I hope that we can all be cautious and careful about the way our actions may affect others.