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January 19, 2022

Message from the 2021-22 Section Chair

Our hearts grieve for what happened at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, TX just days ago. No group or individual should ever be the target of violent extremism. To quote our Council member, Engy Abdelkader: “[We] experience an attack on any house of worship as an attack against all . . .it’s up to each of us to route [violent extremism] out – with righteous words and deeds on a daily basis.” The Rabbi who was held hostage, along with others, by a guest he had invited in, gives us insight into what those righteous words and deeds should be. On Monday, he publicly quoted Martin Luther King Jr., saying, “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” Rabbi Charlie, as he is known, holds a love and respect for others regardless of faith. Let us each do the same, remind others to do it, and take every opportunity to point the way through truth and love. For, as Engy said in the beautiful post she made to ABA Communities, “that creates a better world for all.”

The views expressed herein represent the opinions of the authors. They have not been approved by the House of Delegates or the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association and, accordingly, should not be construed as representing the position of the Association or any of its entities.

Beth K. Whittenbury is the 2021-22 Chair of the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice and past leader of the ABA Commission on Youth at Risk. Currently, she is the Principal at Beth K. Whittenbury & Associates.