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Glimmers of Light in the Toxic Smug: New at Reason

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 10:25
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Gestures and good will count in a climate of fear and ridicule.

A. Barton Hinkle writes:

Several hundred people turned out this past Sunday at the Islamic Center of Virginia, in Chesterfield County, for a show of unity and solidarity. There’s a lot of that going on these days. Similar events have taken place at Islamic centers in California, Colorado, and even Wyoming.

Events like those don’t really produce tangible results. They don’t pass any laws or upend any executive orders or launch any products or feed any hungry kids. But then neither does sending a get-well card to a friend in the hospital. Neither did putting up American flags after 9/11, for that matter—but just about everybody felt it needed doing. Gestures count.

It’s not all mere gesture, though. At the end of last month a mosque in Victoria, Texas, caught fire and burned. This was right after Donald Trump issued his executive order on immigrants and refugees. The cause of the fire is still unknown, but people could be forgiven for wondering.

Anyhow, what’s worth noting is the aftermath: The folks of Victoria, pop. 65,000, rallied around the congregation. Four Christian churches offered their buildings so the Muslims would have someplace to pray. A representative from Temple B’Nai Israel went to the home of the Islamic center’s president and handed him the keys to the temple. In the meantime, a GoFundMe page set up to collect donations for rebuilding has raised more than $1 million.

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