Rambler Newspapers

Serving Irving, Coppell and Grand Prairie

Dear Readers:

On Saturday, roughly a dozen people claiming to be Christians stood outside the Irving Islamic Center with flags, signs of unkind tidings and firearms, exercising their freedom of speech and assembly. Now one of them has taken the liberty of publishing the names and addresses of people who had the audacity to speak in an open forum during an Irving City Council meeting and exercise their freedom of speech to express an opinion contrary to his.

As a reasoning person who lives in Irving and calls those who worship at the Islamic Center my neighbors and friends, I am appalled and embarrassed. A condition which Irvingites are far too accustomed when it comes to those who are outspoken and uninformed.

Now picture the situation in reverse: a group of Islamic residents assemble outside of one of Irving’s churches on Sunday morning with weapons. How different would the outcome be?

Though I have nothing to do with those who shamed themselves in front of the Islamic Center, I feel compelled to offer my sincere apologies. Someone needs to honestly say, ‘I’m sorry;’ it’s the Christian thing to do.

I’ve only been to the Islamic Center a few times. Each time, I have been treated with respect and courtesy. I can say the same thing for the various temples and churches I have visited across the city.

I don’t live my life in the dark. I am well aware of what happened on 9/11, recently in Paris, and Charlie Hebdo. I was so concerned about the attack on Charlie Hebdo that I sat down with an Imam at the Islamic Center and spoke with him about it. I later wrote an article about our conversation.

Perhaps instead of standing outside the center, the 12 should have gone inside and discussed their feelings, fears and the best ways to move forward given their differing points of view.

Timothy McVeigh was a Christian. I would not wish all Baptists or Nondenominational churches to be judged by McVeigh’s actions any more than all Muslims should be judged by a few twisted individuals.

I truthfully can’t say I know what Jesus would do, but I think He would find solutions that would help bring our community together and minimize the distrust that already exists. And He would do it all while leaving his AK-47 and hunting rifles at home.

Stacey Starkey – Editor