There are so many lessons packed into “Faith, Friendship, and Tragedy at Santa Fe High.” Skip Hollandsworth gifts us with this beautiful, thoughtful written eulogy.
Friendships like Sabika and Jaelyn’s don’t come along every day. The Muslim teenager from Pakistan and evangelical Christian girl from small town Texas were inseparable.
Until a student opened fire at Santa Fe High School a year ago today.
— Texas Monthly (@TexasMonthly) May 18, 2019
Faith and Friendship is a heartbreaking read about overcoming religious and ethnic hatreds and the unlikely friendship between two young women. Jaelyn Cogburn is an Evangelical Christian home-schooled in Santa Fe. Her best friend was Sabika Sheikh, a devout Muslim exchange student. There is no small irony that Sabika, wanting to learn about the US in a cross-cultural exchange, left Karachi only to be killed because our country’s love of guns enables murders so readily.
What will it take to enact sane gun laws?
How can communities come together?
And how can we learn to overcome mistrust of “others” and embrace diversity? Our community, as many others, held a moving interfaith service after the Tree of Life synagogue murders in Pittsburgh. B’er Chayim was packed, with citizens of all faiths and clergy representing many faiths participating. It didn’t stop there. A cross section of people came together to form a group called “Community Gathering.” They are meeting twice per month and are planning quarterly interfaith programs.
The first, called “Coming Together,” had a theme of Tikkun Olam, or repair of the world. In addition to brief comments from a spectrum of the planners, there was a discussion afterword that generated a number of interesting suggestions for next steps. There was particular interest in the Grace Café, part of the “One World, Everybody Eats” movement to end hunger, which some local clergy were familiar with.
What steps are your communities taking to teach tolerance, respect, and understanding?