I read of the senseless stabbing of New York cabbie Ahmed H. Sharif with a sense of fear. Sharif was stabbed by a nutball named Michael Enright for being a Muslim. The crime was random and hateful. He was not targeted for who he was, but for what he believed.
Sharif was asked if he were a Muslim, then stabbed. I have the same fear whenever I’m asked about my faith. When I respond that I am Atheist (I always do), I’m usually on the defensive. I’ve had all manner of responses, but no violence. I’ve even had people yelling in my face. I would feel less fear if so many people in my past had not respond angrily. I do not believe that I can relax around the fervently faithful. Some of them really don’t like us.
Sharif’s stabbing was senseless. I hope he recovers and prospers. And hopefully, he will feel comfortable answering questions about his faith again. We both live in America. It should not matter, but it does.