(Originally published in Huffington Post on May 18, 2016). Read Full Article Here.
“We pray for the souls of the Islamic State militants that killed our families. We know they are motivated by evil and pray they can be freed.” I will never forget these words from Jaya Stephanos, the sister of two men that were beheaded by the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant (ISIL) in Libya last year. While working as the Regional Manager for the Middle East at a Washington-based non-profit organization, I was able to meet with family members of the 21 Egyptian Christians that lost their lives on that infamous beach last February. Of all people that should be filled with hate for a religious group, it is these family members; yet, what I heard was love and sadness for those brainwashed by extremist ideology. . .