November 6th, 2009
11:53 AM ET

The alleged murderer at Fort Hood

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Eboo Patel
Interfaith Youth Core
AC360° Contributor

I'm writing from Toronto, where last night I gave a plenary address on Muslim-Jewish cooperation to the Biennial conference of the Union for Reform Judaism. Backstage after the address, my friend Rabbi David Saperstein gave me a grim look and said, "The shooter had a Muslim name."

He called his wife who works for NPR, and his face got more grim as I heard him say:

"Are you sure he was a Muslim? Are you sure he was a Muslim?"

He hung up the phone and turned to me. "This is our worst nightmare."

Rabbi Saperstein knows there will be a thousand voices broadcasting the news that a Muslim opened fire at Fort Hood in Texas yesterday – the implication being, of course, that this act represents Islam. He knows how distorting that perception is for Muslims, and how dangerous that distortion is for America.

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Filed under: Fort Hood Shooting
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