wise words from Eboo Patel

When I was in Rwanda a few weeks ago, we visited several of the churches where thousands of Tutsis fled, seeking sanctuary from genocide. The church buildings became their grave. None of us who have visited these memorials will ever be able to forget … with piles of the victims’ blood-stained clothing stacked on the pews, with stacks of their bones and skulls arranged like hymnals on shelves. Particularly moving for me was to stand in one of the churches as Richard Twiss, a Lakota Sioux whose ancestors experienced a similar story of genocide right here in America, chanted a Native prayer over the bones of the murdered.
Outside that church was a sign that read,

If you knew who I am
And if you knew who you are
You would not kill me.

An important piece by Muslim activist Eboo Patel quoted this poem by William Stafford – you’ll feel the haunting resonance:

If you don’t know the kind of person I am
and I don’t know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

To read Eboo’s article in full, go here.