NOT IN THE NAME OF GOD
The insanity of Boko Haram is beyond the mind of any rational person. Strapping explosive devices to the bodies of little children makes no sense for a group claiming it wants to establish religious law in the territory. As we sympathize with the people of Nigeria, we cannot imagine the suffering they are enduring. Our prayers are with the families and citizens of Nigeria who deserve to be free of such violence.
The World Family of Nations must address the issue of religiously motivated terrorism. Several thoughts come to mind as we honestly confront the misuse of religion to justify such mayhem and murder.
First, we applaud all those grassroots movements throughout the World which have protested against terrorism as they stood up for the rights and dignity of all people to enjoy freedom of speech and religion. Statements about peace and articles protesting the senseless violence of terrorists will amount to nothing unless the people and leaders of the World set an example of how civilized people act as they did in the latest solidarity march in France.
Second, the Interfaith Community must make its voice heard. The rise in religiously motivated terrorism demands we face within our faith traditions any doctrine, belief, or ethical teaching that even suggests other people are of lesser dignity.
Third, we must confront the dangers inherent in religious and political fundamentalism which threaten the lives and well-being of others. Religious belief and practice is a part of life and, by definition, ought to advance the common good and human rights of all.
Finally, we stand with the Muslim marchers in France who held high the banners reading: “NOT IN THE NAME OF ALLAH!” The Interfaith Community must not allow terrorists to redefine what it means to be a believer in God who is the God of all peoples.
Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
Director and the Board of Directors
of the Interfaith Peace Project