Each week the Orlando Sentinel asks two questions of 100 community leaders in Central Florida. Those with access to the online Sentinel can read all of this week’s 100-word responses here. For those without access, here are my responses. (The second appeared in the print edition this week.)
What was the biggest story of the week?
The disproportionate coverage of the attacks in Paris and Beirut last week gives us opportunity for collective reflection. While Paris casualties were higher than Beirut (491 vs 282 including killed and wounded), they were both terrorists attacks in major cities involving many innocent people. Compassion for France overflowed. Lebanon was ignored. Geographically, we in Florida are essentially the same distance from both places, yet, it is clear that our collective cultural identity lands us closer to Paris. May our reflections help grow our compassion for all those impacted by the violence in our world.
What will be the biggest story in the coming week?
This week it would be wonderful for the press to highlight the many statements by local and other Islamic leaders condemning the violence perpetrated by IS. People ask why moderate and mainstream Muslims do not speak out. The truth is that they do but it does not make headlines. None of us want to be defined by extremists claiming to act in our name. In this time of global distress, we must strengthen our understanding of each other and connections to all people of goodwill. Fueling hate will not bring us the world we want. Fostering relationship and empathy will.
The series focuses on state and local news.
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