AS the world emerges from the numbing shock that accompanied the horrific loss of life and destruction of the terrorist attack on the United States, there is a danger that the yen for revenge will overwhelm the West.
US President George W. Bush has said that America is at war and has prepared his people for a protracted military campaign of retaliation. In Australia, Prime Minister John Howard has backed the US campaign and offered military support.
While it is crucial to bring the perpetrators of this horrific crime to justice, any action should not involve indiscriminate retaliation that risks killing innocent people, whether they be Muslims or anyone else. Doing so would be equivalent to the crime which the terrorists committed.
At the same time, law-abiding Muslims living in Australia should not be blamed for a terror which they had no part in.
And yet several incidents in the past week or so have seen Muslims as targets of racial slurs and even violent attacks.
Such vilification on racial and/or religious grounds threatens to create the same environment which led to the persecution of the Jews during World War II.
This is an important time for those in power to show true leadership, characterised by rational thinking and a reasoned response.
The Catholic Leader is an Australian award-winning Catholic newspaper that has been published by the Archdiocese of Brisbane since 1929. Our journalism seeks to provide a full, accurate and balanced Catholic perspective of local, national and international news while upholding the dignity of the human person.
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