Student’s condemn ISIS for hate, violence
This past Sunday, the Islamic State issued a video showing its militants beheading 21 Coptic Christians in Libya. This attack is only the latest by Islamic State militants against Christians, Jews and other religious communities in the Middle East. Since their rise to power, Islamic State rebels have persecuted and killed countless Christians within Iraq, Syria and Libya. The Rutgers Catholic Student Association joins with our fellow Christian organizations in mourning the lives lost in Libya and Iraq. These victims were not killed for any reason, except for their faith. The victims are rightfully honored as martyrs, those who did not give up their beliefs even when faced with death. People of all faiths and beliefs would do well to follow their example and not yield core beliefs when faced with severe rejection and adversity.
We also strongly condemn the Islamic State for showing hatred and violence toward those of other faiths and ethnicities. Unfortunately, the Islamic State attacks are only the latest in a string of religiously-motivated attacks around the world in the past month. In Denmark, one person was killed and two people were injured in a terrorist attack at a synagogue. In North Carolina, three Muslim college students were killed in a possible hate crime. Every human being should have the right to practice their own faith without fear of death or violence. Yet, these perpetrators continue to view with hatred those with beliefs different from their own.
While we, as Rutgers students, may not have the ability go and defend the minorities being persecuted in Iraq or Libya, we can fight against the evil and hatred that separates us here on campus. So when you see someone with a different belief than you in class or in the dining hall, do not judge them solely based on that. Instead, get to know them. Talk to them, find out what their dreams and struggles are and see how their faith and beliefs influence their life. You will probably find out you have a lot in common with them — after all, we are all human! These personal interactions will help reduce the hold that violence and division have on our society. And above all, join us in praying and working for peace, both here at Rutgers and in the world.
This letter is submitted jointly by the Rutgers Catholic Student Association E-Board, which includes:
Daniel Chedid, a senior in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences majoring in environmental planning and design, Matthew Jensen, a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in genetics, Freddy Kurian, a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in economics, Melanie Blaszczak, a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in criminal justice, Mark Rodriguez, a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in Spanish and Italian and Emma Allen, a non-traditional student.