The protestors galvanized by Alsan's murder have been calling for tougher sentencing for perpetrators. In addition to these important steps, moving forward it will also be critical to have access to official data which provides an accurate account of the number of violent crimes committed against women.
The international community hasn't ignored Ukraine, but the focus is invariably geopolitical: What is Putin's end game? Should the West arm the Ukrainian forces? Will Ukraine be absorbed by a reborn Russian empire? Interesting and important questions, all of them, but what remains unsaid is the hideous human drama that is playing out.
Whenever anyone of us is diminished, we are all demeaned, when anyone or any group remains institutionally and socially stigmatized, marginalized, excluded, or disenfranchised, when violence comes down upon any of us, the possibility for authentic community cannot be realized unless and until we challenge it in truly transformational ways.
The West has to find a way to copy and compete with groups like ISIS. It will not be through Common Core. The best way to establish a sense of membership and a sense of purpose for young people is by promoting civic activism, in schools, in communities, in municipalities, and in the broader society.
I live on the outskirts of Chapel Hill (across the tracks, literally). It's been a heartbreaking time for everyone here, a frightening time for many Muslims (and those who might "look Muslim") in the region, and also a time of stirring, heartfelt solidarity and shared mourning. At a vigil at UNC Wednesday night, which was so full I couldn't hear the words from the stage but so hushed we could hear one another breathe, it was the perfect American ordinariness of the victims' family photos that brought me to tears. It's also the American ordinariness of the killer's images and attitudes that scares and saddens me. People have been quick to interpret these horrible slayings. Here are a few thoughts on how the world looks from here.
Sikhs believe that one can follow any number of religious paths to the same ultimate goal, so long as that path is traversed and mediated by the same core values, including love, wisdom, and discipline. This model of open-mindedness and open-heartedness also keeps Sikhs from engaging in competitions to proselytize or missionize people.