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A Cry For Hope
by Denise Marhoefer
Jesse and Neal's SAFE KIDS Foundation

The terrorists responsible for this attack were not even faithfully practicing the Islam religion, and therefore should not even be allowed to call themselves by this name. It is confusing to people.

Their agenda is based in their own individual interpretation of what they feel pleases Allah. This how ever is something that is not shared by much of the Muslim community. Much like Timothy McVeigh feeling that what he had done was right as a "Christian". Never will I ever be able to accept that any of these actions were done to honor a Holy God. I had never read the Quran/Koran before, but have done so over this past week. We must come to a true understanding.

In my work I am the voice for all children, not just some. To have Muslim children afraid to attend school wearing their veil in this country is a shame. These terrorist acts have taken from all people, not just some.

People of all different religions died in this atrocity......
and all of us died just a little in our hearts
and in our spirits......
We must direct our focus only to those who did this. Not to an entire people or belief. It would be comparable as if a band of Catholics, Christians, or Protestant's did this. All are not guilty......
This was done in extreme ignorance and hatred, the combination of the two is quite powerful.
But let's make sure this hatred is stopped beginning with us. We have lost so much innocence, and out of fear, let us strive not to lose more........
The Internet is a perfect example to demonstarte this level of caring......
We have learned to care about each other regardless,......

Sight unseen, we have bonds that are strong. Not of beliefs but of caring, and common decency. Many of the people that I work with, I do not even know what their race is, let alone their religion. I only know that I have grown close to them and that I care about them.
I write in an effort to seek to understand in wisdom, for each other and for our children.

One more thought, and I hope my words are not interpreted as not wanting to hold those accountable for these acts of terrorism. But only to hold those who are actually accountable.
I look at the gentleman from Arizona (India) who was murdered as a result of wearing a turban. My heart is filled with such an incredible pain.

As a writer, I am contacted by so many different types of people.
Not long ago, I was contacted by someone who was a Nazi.
I honestly had never seen such hatred and anger as that which were within his words............
He made known to me in no unspecified terms that he hated women and children......
Which made it interesting, since I am a woman who works for children.......
Instead of being afraid though, I listened. I listened to all of his anger and all of his frustrations.............
I did not try to change him.......or conform him.........and since I didn't really have to worry too much about a fear of my becoming
a Nazi, I really had nothing to lose....... but in my listening....... I heard pain and in his pain I heard a young man who actually had no idea what to believe in.
When he was done, I said, do you feel, that two people who have two totally different belief structures can still find things to talk about?
He thought maybe they could.........
The next day he came back........
a little less angry...........
and the next day
and the next......
and now we are friends.......
he said I changed his attitude...........
I think he changed mine......... My life was touched and changed by our differences for the better.........

In some moments, I do not even think I am advocating for anything, other than the fact that my heart feels such a profound sense of sorrow.

In all of this loss and in this much tragedy, I vacillate between extreme anger and extreme compassion. Neither of which is a position of strength, and both very normal for such destruction that is so void of understanding.

My writing is not so much about Nazi's as it is the ignorant beliefs that escalate hatred to death I still stand in awe of what ever it was that happened between us, as I watched this teenager's belief structure become transformed before my very eyes...........and I know I am accountable for this knowledge.

My belief structure also was changed.

I am no longer allowed the luxury of hopeless.......
I can also fondly look back to the point in time when he said, "You know, you are a little weird, but you are ok......"

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