A mosque in southwest Missouri burned to the ground early Monday morning – the second fire to hit the mosque in less than a month and the second likely hate crime at a U.S. house of worship in as many days.
On Sunday, six Sikhs were slaughtered while preparing for a morning service at a temple in Wisconsin. The gunman, a suspected white supremacist, was killed while exchanging gunfire with police.
Meanwhile, the Missouri mosque was targeted by an arsonist on July 4th, although the damage from that first fire was less devastating. Yesterday's fire claimed everything but some stone pillars and pieces of plywood. Fortunately, no injuries have been reported.
These cases, if motivated by hate as is currently suspected, represent a growing problem in our society and abroad. Religious minorities are targets around the world. But why? The vast majority of religious – and non-religious – people hope for peace and security.
By perpetrating hate, we guarantee neither peace nor security for any of us. But by advocating for and proactively spreading respect and understanding, we pave a path for both.