Charleston is blessed to have young Azeem Khan alert us to the anti-Muslim remarks of the televangelist in Fairmont and to the anti-Muslim display at our state Capitol. I pray he is correct that “the overwhelming majority of West Virginians do not hold such narrow-minded views.”
With him, I believe that Muslims here are proud Muslims and proud Americans, and there is nothing preventing them from being both at the same time.
His quote from Khalil Gibran reminds me of the words of our native West Virginian, Robert George, McCormick Professor of Jurisdiction at Princeton University and former Chairman of the International Commission on Religious Freedom: “I urge my fellow Christians of all traditions and Muslims to remember how much we share, what we want for ourselves and our children: a peaceful society, a decent culture, a fair and flourishing economy, an excellent system of education and the freedom to worship and to bring our religiously inspired convictions concerning justice and the common good into the public square and to make our case in freedom and peace, to our fellow citizens.”
Distorted views about Islam popularized after the Crusades in the 12th and 13th centuries continue today, despite studies showing objective truths to the contrary. Consequently, the Second Vatican Council urges Christians and Muslims “to forget the past and to strive sincerely for mutual understanding… safeguarding and fostering social justice, moral values, peace and freedom.”
Msgr. P. Edward Sadie
Former Rector/Pastor, Co-Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart