Peace be upon Fort Hood

Coming out of the bank today, I heard the guy in front of me exchange a greeting of peace with someone: "Salaam Aleichem - Peace (or well-being) be upon you." So as I approached him I wished him the same, and he answered back.

As we walked to our cars I called out to him, "One of the things I love about Islam is that you cannot get though the day without speaking peace."

Only a little while later I heard from a friend, soon to deploy to Egypt with the National Guard, about the shootings at Fort Hood, and the report that a shooter had an Arab name. One is always on unstable ground if one rushes to simple explanations of tragedy. But it is not hard to imagine that violence can infect and affect those exposed to it, sometimes fatally, and that words of peace must be butressed with works of peace.

God, all-powerful, all-compassionate, all-knowing, all-merciful: dwell with all those touched by violence, and minister to any who are tempted to hatred. Grant rest to those slain, healing to those who have been wounded, and courage to those who carry on with your work. Bless all those who mourn, and who seek to make peace out of destruction, that your holy name be both a scourge to evil and the hope of the world. May your peace be ever upon our lips, in our hearts, and manifest in our deeds. Peace be upon your people this day and forevermore. Amen.

Calligraphy (at top) by Todd Ricker, "using the two Arabic words for peace (Al Salaam) and God (Allah). The characters were then formed into a rosebud, while trying to maintain as much of the integrity of the Arabic as possible."


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