Lack of tolerance should never result in violence and death

Lack of tolerance should never result in violence and death

Three innocent college students were murdered Tuesday evening. It says something about our society that it barely made a media ripple, but whether that is because we are so used to hearing about such shootings or because the victims were Muslims is hard to say.

Officially, the three were shot over a parking spot. At least that’s what the shooter is claiming. And the police are backing that. Despite the claims that the shooter made anti-religious remarks on Facebook. Despite the victims reports to their families that there had been previous verbal disputes with the shooter.

I guess, in the long run, the most important thing is that these are humans who were gunned down. Whether it was because of a great parking space or because of religion, the outcome is the same. Mohammad Abu-Salha lost two daughters and a son-in-law. All three were promising college students with bright futures. Young adults who could have had a positive influence on the lives of those around them. Whether it was over a parking space or a religious preference, what gave the shooter the right to take the lives of three people? Nothing.

It seems like every time the media calms down from one hate-filled story, there is another to take its place. Ferguson merged into New York and a fight between blacks, whites, tolerant, intolerant, pro-police, and anti-police. American Sniper brought the super-patriotic versus the anti-war. And none of it ever stays local – the battles are soon all over social media and all over the world.

At some point, Americans have got to learn to tolerate one another. Different races, different religions, different cultures – there are a lot of them in this country, and they make ours one of the most diverse and unique countries in the world. That should be something we celebrate, but instead we condemn the people around us who do not agree with us. Whether it is over reading materials or movies like Fifty Shades of Grey, differences in opinion become major battles on social media, and sometimes, as it did in this case, it spills over into everyday life. And sometimes, it ends it.

Does this mean we cannot have individual opinions? Of course not. That’s ridiculous. We all have different opinions, and that is ok – what is not ok is being disrespectful of the right of others to have opinions, too. Especially when that intolerance turns into violence.