Activism,  Middle East,  The Mont Order

A Spiritual Response to the San Bernardino Terrorist Attack, Where is the Muslim Gandhi?

The terrorist attack in San Bernardino hit very close to home for me. San Bernardino is 55.5 miles from where I live.

In my humble opinion, before we start to point fingers, engage in conspiracy theories and chastise those who would use this tragedy for any political agenda, we need to view the entire incident through a spiritual lens, focusing on compassion.

So, let’s take a look at each of the parties involved.

Obviously, the victims and their families deserve our compassion. They were innocent victims, going to a holiday work party to celebrate the holiday season. So, let’s shine compassion on the souls of the victims and on their families.

Secondly, the neighbors who saw “suspicious” activities by the alleged perpetrators. They deserve our compassion as well. Those that saw what they believed to be suspicious activity and did not report it to the proper authorities need our compassion – they are suffering severe emotional turmoil right now after 14 people were killed and many more injured. They deserve our compassion because they did not trust their intuition. If you observe anyone doing anything suspicious, it doesn’t matter if they’re black or white, Muslim or Jewish or Christian. All that matters is what they are doing and what your gut feeling is. We here in the West have been so discouraged from trusting our intuition. In the spiritual realm, intuition is honed and honored. So, this must be one of the take-aways from this incident.

Third, we need to have compassion for the perpetrators. They are acting out an agenda that must be examined from the root cause. What Muslim terrorists (and this is a very small portion of the Muslim population, as the religion itself is based on peace) are doing is based on a century or more of oppression and colonialism. They are choosing violence to protest this. I am by no means condoning their action. What they did in San Bernardino – as in Paris, as anywhere where violence is used – was reprehensible. I am trying to widen the lens and look at this from the root cause. The root causes are manifold including:

  • French colonialism in Syria and Lebanon
  • British colonialism in portions of the Middle East and Asia
  • U.S. greed for oil and how that has driven U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East for decades
  • The more recent actions of the U.S. and various countries in the European Union and NATO in Iraq and elsewhere after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

All of this is now coming to roost as Muslims demand freedom, autonomy and integrity of their land, all of which they deserve.

Fourth: Compassion for the baby the perpetrators left behind. It is unfathomable how a couple hell-bent on destruction would bring a baby into this world. This baby needs our infinite compassion as its parents are murderers. To start one’s life with that kind of blood on one’s soul will take a tremendous amount of unconditional love.

The spiritual question is: Who is the Muslim Gandhi who will choose peace over violence and lead Muslims to freedom and autonomy through peace?

D Helene

D. Helene is a journalist, author and yoga teacher. She did an investigative series on the squeezing of the middle class and then started feeling squeezed herself, when during the recession she lost her full-time writing job and had to cobble together several part-time jobs. As a writer, she started writing down several fictional, humorous anecdotes about what it’s like to live as one of the 99%, (those of us who work for a living)… never imagining that someday they would be woven together in her first novel. She gathered these fictional anecdotes while she was writing her first book, a non-fiction biography. Once that was published, she was inspired to string these anecdotes together into this novel, Diary of a 99%-er: The Struggle Between Survival and Creative Expression, which details a year in the lives of a fictional couple living in Orange County, trying to make ends meet during the recession.

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