Opinion: "Understanding Builds a Better Community"

September 17, 2006

Source: East Valley Tribune


On September 17, 2006 the East Valley Tribune ran an opinion piece by Slim Smith, a Tribune columnist. "Friday afternoon, 16 of Balbir Singh Sodhi’s friends and relatives gathered out front of the family’s convenience store on the corner of University Drive and 80th St. in Mesa to honor Sodhi’s memory... On Sept. 15, 2001, Frank Roque did not see a softspoken, kind man behind the counter at that convenience store. Instead, Roque saw a man 'in a turban' who he identified as a supporter of the extremist Muslim terrorists who had rained down death in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania four days earlier. So Roque shot him dead... [GuruRoop Kaur Khalsa, a spokeswoman for the Valley’s Sikh community] shared with me a saying from the Sikh faith, one that applies to my faith, too: If you can’t see God in all, you can’t see God at all. I wish Frank Roque had seen God in that gentle man behind the counter five years ago. It is too late to help Balbir Singh Sodhi, too late to help Frank Roque. It is not too late for the rest of us."