Sondra K notes a new wrinkle in the Seattle shooter story:
Naveed Haq, now widely portrayed as a Muslim American so angry at Israel that he shot up a Jewish charity in Seattle, had recently converted to Christianity.
His conversion is perhaps the most startling contradiction in a puzzling life...
Haq, 30, told a ministry leader that he saw too much anger in Islam and wanted to find a new beginning in Christianity. He converted to Christianity, but, as with many other endeavors in his life, drifted away from the faith.
Michael Medved, in Seattle, give his perspective on the non-jewish victims of this Jew-targeted violence:
The demented Islamic killer Naveed Afzal Haq (who yelled proudly about his Muslim identity as he fired repeatedly at his unarmed female victims) apparently meant to kill Jews in order to punish Israel, but it turns out that the majority of those he wounded (three out of five) were Christian employees at the offices he attacked. One of them, Cheryl Stumbo, 43, was identified as a board member at Seattle's University Unitarian Church. The single fatality in his rampage, Pam Waechter, 58, also grew up in a non-Jewish home; though raised as a Lutheran in Minnesota, she converted to Judaism after her marriage and became a Tenple president and universally beloved leader of the Seattle Jewish community...
Far from practicing isolation and exclusivity, the Jewish community in the United States has become comfortably, even intimately integrated with our non-Jewish neighbors --- some might argue too intimately integrated for the sake of the survival of a distinctive Jewish identity. At a time when Israel faces implacable enemies, however, we recognize the importance of our Christian friends in fighting for the Jewish state's right to exist and defend itself, and supporting our right to our own religious expression. For an organization like Jewish Federation (a charitable umbrella group that functions like United Way for our community) it's not suprising or negative that many of its employees happen to be sympathetic non-Jews. Jewish Federation in Seattle (and in all major cities across the country) is concerned with outreach, and with building coalitions on the issues that matter most to our communities.
Jew-haters may nurse fantasies of secret rituals and ancient cabals and power-mad banking-media conspiracies that are based solely on shared Jewish ancestry. But when one of these anti-Semites picks up a gun (in the style of Naveed Afzal Haq) and begins firing at visible Jewish targets, he's likely to hit some people of non-Jewish background -- in our Federation offices, our congregations, or even in our homes.
Patrick Hynes reflects on anti-Semitism in the news, touching on Mel Gibson's bizarre, drunk rant-fest. It was really disappointing to hear that about Gibson.
Sean Gleeson, also formerly a big Gibson fan, rightly takes him to task, here.