Americans of All Faiths Seek Solace, Understanding After Terror Attacks

September 17, 2001

Source: The Washington Post

On September 17, 2001, The Washington Post reported that "On the first Sunday after last week's devastating terrorist attacks, preachers told standing room-only crowds that God had no hand in the nation's horrendous loss. Their sermons stressed that punishment -- not revenge -- is appropriate, and many cautioned against making any ethnic or religious group the scapegoat. 'We must remember that evil does not wear a turban, a tunic, a yarmulke or a cross. Evil wears the garment of a human heart, a garment woven from the threads of hate and fear,' said the Rev. Nathan D. Baxter, dean of Washington National Cathedral." The article continued, "He was one of many clergy issuing warnings against intolerance. At St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Alexandria, the Rev. Oran E. Warder opened his homily with the Muslim benediction, 'In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.' Muslim extremists, he pointedly noted, are no more representative of Islam than the Ku Klux Klan is of Christianity." The article continued, "...And the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, a guest speaker at Ebenezer A.M.E. Church, urged members not to blame Arab Americans for the terrorist attacks. 'Scapegoating our neighbors is wrong and dangerous,' Jackson said to rousing applause during the 11 a.m. service. 'For every complex problem, there is a simple answer, and it's always wrong.'"