Friday, February 22, 2008

Why didn’t anyone talk to them?

Readers of this blog who do not presently live in the Quad Cities may not have heard about this incident which occurred at a church in Rock Island with a very distinctive appearance (quite photogenic in fact) which has caused quite a stir:

Police continue to investigate a report of suspicious activity at St. Pius X Church.

Rev. Mike Schaab sent a letter home to parents of Jordan Catholic School students Wednesday warning about "several men of apparently Middle Eastern origin" visiting a Feb. 16 Mass who allegedly took photographs inside the church and its exterior.

Parishioners contacted police with the license plate of one of the cars driven by the men, but Capt. Scott Harris said tracing the plate has been unsuccessful.

Rev. Schaab said he does not know what would lead parishioners to describe the men as Middle Eastern as he was not present at the Mass and said he does not think anyone could definitively report their nationality.

Read entire article

Apparently some men, who according to some observers looked ‘Middle Eastern,’ came to mass, took some pictures inside and outside the church and left, without anyone from the congregation talking to them. I am not sure which aspects of that situation the police are investigating but if I was a member of that church I know what I would be concerned about. Why didn’t anyone talk to them? Where was the Greeting Committee or the Welcoming Committee or whatever they call it there? What happened to our famous mid-Western friendliness? Those guys must think that the church has a nice looking building but the people are not very friendly.

Fear sometimes makes fools of us all, but come on people – get a grip. Not every stranger with a dark complexion is a terrorist. If you see a stranger taking a picture of your church hitting them up for a donation is probably a much better idea than reporting them to the police.


QuadCityImages said...

The whole thing seems pretty strange. I talked to someone that was sitting a few rows a way, and I can slightly see why people might worry. On the other hand, if half a dozen white guys had done this it wouldn't be news. I definitely wish someone had introduced themselves and welcomed them to the church instead of just trying to get their plate number. My first thought is that they were just tourists taking photos of a fairly unique church.

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