What ‘s at Stake?

1 May 2011: Osama bin Muhammad bin Awad bin Laden’s death is announced by Pres. Barack Obama.

So, these events and our reactions to them keep churning over and over in my mind.  It seems the right response is elusive (the very reason I first tried to write the long-hand version of this post).  I only want to make a point:

In order to engage in terrorism, one has to strip the other of all traces of humanity.  Whatever our response is, and however sorrows and wrongs committed against us demand expression; let us see one another as people.  Of course it is difficult to see another humanely after many atrocities, but we must understand that in all involved there are pains.

Do we who mourned at 9/11 also truly identify with the loss of 7/7 in London?

Or in Yazidi (2007)?

Or the Mumbai train bombings (2006)?  Or do we see those who committed those acts completely without sympathy – do we sacrifice part of our humanity in this process?

I know far too little about all of these and, while I wish to see no attacks, cannot help wondering if we do n’t take the easy way out and dehumanize not only the “collateral damage” of innocents, but also the aggressors.  We must be careful not to respond to inhuman acts with inhumanity.  Can we then with clear conscience find healthy manners of expressing elation without losing our own humanity in the process?

“Wisdom cries out in the streets…”…are we listening?

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