What transpired Friday night in Paris is heartbreaking and faith-challenging. I define "faith" as my belief in the inherent goodness and positive intent of my fellow man.
When over a hundred civilians are killed in a coordinated attack, that belief is directly challenged. It is understandable to want revenge. We are biologically programmed to react aggressively and resolutely. The challenge we all face, before deciding what to believe, is to gain clarity on the perspective and beliefs that the murderers shared.
One of the ways I attempted that was through reading a translation of Osama Bin Laden's 2002 "letter to the American people" a year after the Sept 11th attacks. While Bin Laden has since passed away, his thought leadership still effects current events. The Guardian, one of our most trustworthy news institutions, translated the online publication without commentary. I am linking the piece below so that you can gain some insight into the Islamic extremist perspective.
Letter to the American People - Osama Bin Laden
This is a highly divisive and emotional issue for many people. My hope is that reading this will challenge you to think critically about the forthcoming actions our governments take.
Peace and love,
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