Seattle shootings: an act of sickening evil

The recent shooting of innocent people at a Seattle Jewish community centre was a sickening act of depravity. I don't care who you are, what's been done to you or people like you, or what your anger is at whatever topic, NO ONE EVER HAS A RIGHT TO HARM THE INNOCENT, and "innocent" should be defined as absolutely broadly as possible in all contexts.This killer, Pakistani-American Naveed Afzal Haq, while differing in planning and results, is morally on the same plane as Timothy McVeigh.

Our prayers go out to the victims:

"Six women were shot, including 58-year-old Seattle resident Pamela Waechter, who died from her injuries. Other victims were:

"Dayna Klein, 37, of Seattle, who was in satisfactory condition early Saturday at Harborview Medical Center with a gunshot wound to her arm.Cheryl Stumbo, 43, of Seattle, who was in serious condition at Harborview. Carol Goldman, 35, of Seattle, who was shot in the knee. She was in satisfactory condition. Layla Bush, 23, of Seattle, who was in serious condition. Christina Rexroad, 29, of Everett, who was wounded in the abdomen. She was in serious condition."


The photo from The Seattle Times carries the caption: "Muslims reach out: Temple B'nai Torah congregation member Lynda Matthias, left, walks to the temple with Farida Hakim, middle, who came with a friend (who declined to be identified) to leave flowers in honor of the shooting victims. The shooting is 'all the more reason that we work together for peace and justice,' Hakim said."

Given that many Jewish Americans (some regular folks, some famous intellectuals) have spoken out against the Israeli government's war on Lebanon, I'm reassured to see more examples of Muslims reaching out to Jews after a Muslim commits such a heinous crime against Jewish people.

I deplore the reality that bloodshed should ever have to be a motivating factor in bringing people together, but given that we're in this state, I applaud that some people choose, during the worst of times, to try to connect with compassion. And compassion means, after all, "suffering together."

The Haq family released the following statement:
"We are shocked and devastated with this tragic event. Our hearts and condolences go to the family of the deceased lady. Our deepest sympathies go to those who have been injured and we pray for their speedy recovery. We could not have imagined for a moment that our son would do this senseless act. This is utterly contrary to our beliefs and Islamic values. We have always believed and practiced in fostering love, peace and harmony with everyone, irrespective of religion, race and ethnicity."

In recent years, Jewish Americans and others have been targetted for hate crimes. The Seattle Times supplies the following list of hate crimes, mostly committed by neo-Nazis.

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