(San Francisco Chronicle) -- On a Saturday night after the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, a plastic replica hand grenade was left in the driveway of Baitus Salaam Mosque in Hawthorne, near the Los Angeles airport. Someone also spray-painted “Jesus” on the mosque’s front gate and crosses on the windows.
The Ahmadiyya mosque community could have erected new walls or added security. Instead, its members held an open house. “Extremism,” the community president, Jalaluddin Ahmad, said in an invitation, “will not scare us into locking our mosques. Rather we will open the doors wider to educate all.”
If only the rest of California were responding to this moment in the same spirit. So far, we Californians — from everyday citizens to our top leaders — have demonstrated an abundance of ignorance and cowardice. But if we thought of San Bernardino as an opportunity to reach out to others, we could emerge a safer and even richer place.
Advertisement - story continues below