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“You are right. He will not take it,” Ghouse said. “But that also gives fellow Americans the hope that it is not the Quran, it is the bad practices of a few Muslims that taints the religion.”
It goes without saying that Ghouse is an idealist who believes that his calls for dialogue and reason and mercy can reduce the world’s violence. In the words of the old song, he’s got high hopes.
“We value freedom of speech and we want to reclaim the model of the prophet in dealing with conflicts,” he said. “Violence is not the way. I do hope, with the right reach and articles, we might be able to change the minds of those few Muslims who resort to violence.”
In his video, Ghouse explains he’s delaying cardiac bypass surgery so he can organize and host this Unity Day. Willingness to sacrifice for the right cause is not a uniquely American value. But it’s a value that Americans honor and share with many other nations and cultures.
So there’s not much question that Ghouse’s damaged heart is in the right place. “The more of us pray for peace,” he says in the video, “the bigger news we will make.”
In the video, Ghouse quotes Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are the peacemakers.”
May it be so.
Jeffrey Weiss is a veteran religion reporter based in Dallas.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.