Do not let ‘the darkness of hatred and prejudice poison our own hearts’

Terrorism has taken a great toll in our world. Many innocent people have lost their lives, leaving families, friends and communities racked in pain, consumed by a sense of loss and disbelief. The victims who are killed, shot or injured in terrorist attacks are but the tip of the iceberg. The entire community is affected by these terrible events. People are fearful about travel, or gathering in large numbers. Strangers are looked upon with suspicion and whole classes of people are demonized.

One of the most pernicious effects of terrorism is that it can instill prejudices and group hatred in people’s hearts and minds. All of us are horrified by the evil perpetrated by radical terrorists, but we must not let their inhumanity rob us of our humanity. During the Second World War, Japanese Americans were herded into concentration camps simply because they were of a particular ethnic group. This very un-American reaction was spurred by people’s fear. Fear can cause us to do terrible and stupid things.

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