Gun death, an issue for us all I Worship

Nov 29, 2017

It is time for an interfaith voice against violence and who is for stronger gun control in our society.

The deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history took place at the Las Vegas music festival on Oct. 1, followed by the mass shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Nov. 5.

For too long, violence has plagued our malls, coffee shops, movie theaters, neighborhoods and schoolyards, too.

All the Abrahamic faiths share a unique value: that human life is sacred and our most basic human right is to live peacefully.

This common thread must help us to join hands and speak louder for safer communities.

Strengthening public safety does not mean taking away anyone’s Second Amendment rights, but tougher background checks are a reasonable tool to start curbing today’s alarming rate of gun violence.

The poison of violence in our society comes from the television, movie and game industries, from gang-bang music and from video games, all of which celebrate, nurture and validate a culture of violence.

Our country’s easy access to guns, combined with the violent content, images and sounds that are disseminated in the media, actually desensitize many into thinking these are legitimate reactions to life’s increasing stresses.

Our country has way too many acts of violence. Overall, the firearm death rate rose to 12 deaths per 100,000 people in 2016, up from 11 in 2015, according to the reports by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As sisters and brothers in humanity, we all suffer when there is a murder.

Our psychological well-being is damaged. We fear for our safety and distrust our fellow citizens.

According to Islam, all humans have been given a special responsibility by God. We are assigned to be viceroy for the Earth and will be accountable to God for our actions as recipients of this trust.

Islam considers all life forms as sacred. However, the sanctity of human life is accorded a special place. The first and the foremost basic right of a human being is the right to live.  Al- Quran 5:32

“…if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.”

Life is a test and God knew there would be people among us who would enjoin good and forbid evil. Their trial would be to build bridges of understanding, seek common values and protect the sanctity of life.

Today, the social fabric of our society is being ripped apart by a culture of violence. Our citizens are afraid on our streets and in their homes. Many are terrified by the needless loss of human life.

Criminals, the desensitized and some who are mentally ill can buy guns unchecked, creating a culture in which our malls, movie theaters, neighborhood streets and homes are not safe.

We can no longer ignore the level of gun violence and its moral and human costs. Respect for human life must be our common foundation in confronting this urgent social problem.

We must come together as different faiths to curb the easy availability of deadly weapons signals a hope in a shared Abrahamic value: human life.

We all deserve the opportunity to live in peace and safety.





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