Wrought-iron patio entrance with Islamic symbols, Alcazar de Sevilla, Sevilla, Spain.
The tragedy of September 11th haunts many of us, as evidenced in various memorial ceremonies and reams of copy in publications around the world. But watching media reports of hysterical - and ill-informed - anti-mosque protests in New York; Newt Gingrich's release of a shockingly paranoid, fear-mongering and fact-challenged film and Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck's cynical money-making appearance at a "patriot" meeting Saturday, I was reminded of the poet Khalil Gibran's philosophy:
"The true wealth of a nation lies not in its gold or silver but in its learning, wisdom and in the uprightness of its sons."
Either our coffers are running low or the crazy fringe elements of our society are too noisily promoting intolerance, trying to drown out voices of reason. These increasingly unhinged people do not speak for us. In the United States, our Constitution guarantees freedom of religion and justice for all, not just for special interest groups trying to line their pockets by manipulating emotions and inciting violence and hate.
It is my hope and prayer that we make a sincere effort to listen and learn from one another, no matter our faith, creed or country of origin. For all our sakes, cooler heads must prevail.