I wanted my fellow nonMuslims to know my perspective on the recent world conflicts and about being a Muslim and I couldn't have said it better about how I feel than Brother Ali Shehata did. To read more of this post, go here.

This is just a snippet of how I feel.

“I sincerely want you to know that my religion, Islam, does not encourage violence. In fact, it specifically speaks AGAINST the killing of innocent people. It encourages forgiveness and the peaceful resolution of conflicts, be they interpersonal or international. I hope that you have seen this trend in my character, even though I know I am far from perfect and have much to improve in myself. I don’t have hate in my heart, even for those that have used their power to hurt others around them. I pray for justice for the people of our world, and I pray for peace as well.

I wish you could know how sorry I am that a small group of people have distorted all that is good in my religion by using it as a call for terror and bloodshed. I am sorry that these misguided people have caused harm to my fellow countrymen and women. I feel the same way that many of you might feel when you read about the atrocities committed against the Native Americans or the African Slaves by our ancestors in this country. The fact that Americans did these terrible things doesn’t take away from the good that America stands for. It just means that sometimes people can go very far astray from the principles they seek to represent. Nonetheless, I still feel sorry that these things are being done in the name of Islam and I wish that I could stop them from happening.

I know that no matter what I may say, there will still be those who will not like me because I have chosen, with my intellect and my heart, to follow Islam. This will not stop me though from extending my hand and my heart in friendship to those around me who need care. It will not stop me from trying my best to be a good citizen of America and the world. It will not stop me from working tirelessly to prevent those whom I can reach from turning to extremism. And it will not lead me to hate in return.” -Ali Shehata