State Rep. Jay Rodne has created unwanted attention that has angered many across the community.

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In the weeks following terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., Americans have struggled with the rising menace the Islamic State presents.

Some political leaders have made ill-advised, overly simplistic statements in addressing the complicated threat of the terrorist organization. State Rep. Jay Rodne, R-Snoqualmie, who served our country with the U.S. Marines, the city of Snoqualmie on the City Council and now in the state Legislature, recently made a series of remarks on social media calling Muslims “barbarians” and calling for Americans to “arm yourselves.”

In continuing media coverage of the representative’s comments, The Seattle Times published an article on the front page entitled “Anti-Muslim rhetoric hits Snoqualmie families hard.” It draws attention to the detrimental impact of Rodne’s words on residents of the Muslim faith. As a 13-year-resident of Snoqualmie and City Council member-elect, I can say that I speak for many citizens that the representative’s unnerved comments are a departure from beliefs we hold. I, like many, am sympathetic to the concern by Snoqualmie’s citizens of the Muslim faith. He has created unwanted attention that has angered many across the community, regardless of their religious faith.

People need to know that Snoqualmie is a place where free religious expression has been an important part of our community as it has nearly tripled in population since 1998. We have enjoyed the benefits of different cultures being represented in our kids’ sports teams, classrooms and activities. People of different faiths serve side by side in service clubs, on city staff and other organizations. The panic that Rodne’s words seek to create have never materialized in Snoqualmie. They do not depict, in any way, the reality here.

Our federal government needs to do a better job in affirming Americans’ safety. Our leaders are failing in that regard, and much of the fear that we are seeing in America today is attributable to that failure.

That being said, a great many in Snoqualmie reject words that further spread fear and distrust. And the idea of closing access to the American dream to immigrants goes against everything America stands for.

These beliefs are not shallow homage to political correctness, but rather adherence to principles representing the best of what Western Civilization has to offer the world. Freedom of religion and equal opportunity are ideas that have created a more civilized world and are what separates us from totalitarian regimes that stifle individual determination. Our neighbors of the Muslim faith who have made themselves our friends are welcome and are valued for their contributions in Snoqualmie. They see themselves as Americans and that this is their country.

In a time where the outrage machine rumbles to life with an alarming frequency, the call is not that Rodne face retribution for his words. Mistakes can be made by anyone, and should be learned from. Rodne should invest in knowing his community better in order to more effectively represent all who live in Snoqualmie.

He could do a great deal of good by accepting the invitation of Muslim constituents to meet. This would be a great gesture not only to those who extended the invitation, but to a great many who are not Muslim who care about how our community is represented. And I am hopeful that Rodne does what is necessary to re-establish the faith of his constituents.

Snoqualmie is spectacular not only for its natural beauty, but for its strong sense of community. Our friends of the Muslim faith are part of that community.