Rest In Peace, J. Christopher Stevens.

Tremor: 8.1, Depth: 1.3 miles, Location: 1.8 kilometers from Benghazi, Libya.

I didn’t finish dinner tonight. I doubt I’ll be sleeping much. For some reason, the actions of a gang of monsters approximately 925 miles from where I am have me sick. I am also scared, for I feel my disgust towards the killings is not a common sentiment here.

There is a written, solid rule in Islam: Do NOT, under any circumstance, depict images of the Prophet. This is a large part of their culture, and it is reasonable, as they seem Mohammed as merely a messenger of God, and not anyone to be worshiped directly. The words of Mohammed are sacred not because they are his words, but because he was merely a conduit for God. However, the rule of depictions of Mohammed appears nowhere in the Quran, but it is rather in supplemental texts. And nowhere in U.S. law does it ban a depiction of Mohammed.

Freedom of speech, press, and religion is a freedom often claimed to be under attack in the United States, usually from whichever side is losing an argument. But the truth is, we have much more freedom of speech many other countries worldwide. And while these freedoms are often taken for granted, they make the United States a unique country in the world, and begin to justify that old cliche about America and freedom.

George Bush was wrong: They don’t hate us for our freedom, they hate us for how we misuse our freedom. However, that in no way justifies killing four innocent people, just trying to serve their country. The Prophet never once spoke of his depiction in images, yet spoke numerous times of peace and understanding between people. Tonight at dinner, when I mentioned my sadness about the killings, my host brother simply shrugged and said, “If you depict the Prophet, there must be some punishment. But I would not have killed them.” And so I lie here awake, hoping justice will be done for the poor families who lost their loved ones in Benghazi, and hoping that one day, we can end the killing of innocents for the opinions of their countrymen. Fingers crossed…


About crazytvfan815

A nearly-20 college student about to spend a year in Amman, Jordan, having never traveled to the Middle East before, and not knowing a word of Arabic.
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