What Adventists Can Do After an Extremist Attack

By Gabriela Profeta Phillips, director of Adventist-Muslim relations for the North American Division

A wave of violence hit southern California last week, leaving many of us numbed.

“Why?” we asked ourselves. “Why would a seemingly normal man, happily married and blessed with a 6-month-old child, take the lives of people indiscriminately? How could a young mother kiss her daughter one last time before stepping into a dark world of death willingly?”

Two days after the married couple killed 14 people and injured 21 others in the San Bernardino shooting spree, I joined a small group of Seventh-day Adventists on a visit to a small mosque in the nearby city of Riverside. We wanted to hear from the Muslim community leader how this tragedy had affected his community.

At the time I was unaware that this mosque was the very place where the male shooter had regularly attended Friday services. I have to acknowledge that there was something somber about standing on the very same ground on which he had stood a few days earlier. Again I wondered why.

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