Sunday, July 10, 2005

The Many Faces of Terrorism

We do not need to look to London or Afghanistan to see instances of politically-motivated violence. It has just happened in our own backyard.

On Saturday, someone set fire to a copy of the Q'ran and then threw it through the window of the Islamic Center of Bloomington. The FBI lables this a hate crime that was likely an act of revenge for the London terror attacks. Americans tend to see cross-culture hatred as a hallmark of Al-Quaida. But for Bloomington's Muslim American college kids, terror is not something that only happens in the Subway and those spreading terror are as likely to wear baseball caps as they are to wear turbans.

How many people in America believe that the Q'ran instructs Muslims to kill all non-Muslims? How many times have you heard someone say that Islam is a religion of hatred? How many people judge Islam based on the actions of Osama Bin Laden (while hoping nobody judges Christianity based on the actions of Timothy McVeigh)? How many people would agree with this statement from my own blog's comments?

"If you happen to know a muslim who "does not want to kill you" then you know a muslim (like those who call themselves catholics or Christians) by label only. He is not practising his religion. His god, his holy quran tells him to kill you on the spot. Unless you are a muslim, you are an infedel and you are to be hunted and exterminated. That's not me "hating" them, that's them hating us, you, me."

I presume that it was equivalent reasoning that led to the arson at the Bloomington mosque. And it might be equivalent reasoning that leads Al-Quaida terrorists to believe that all American, Spanish, and British citizens are inherently evil. They are taught that hatred toward Muslims is embedded in
American culture, just as we are told by our President that the entire Middle East hates our freedom.

And neither Subway bombings nor Mosque arsons do anything to erradicate those deadly misconceptions.


Blogger J. James Mooney said...

I couldn't agree more, those misconceptions need to be addressed and rooted out of our society if we hope to make any sort of progress. However, the leaders of the Islam and the Arab world need to yell louder in their condemnations.

See my post on the topic.

And Thomas Friedman's Article in the Times.

4:20 PM  
Blogger Jezebella said...

Great stuff. Muslims do need to be more vocally opposed to terrorism. But non-Muslims can help as well by ensuring that nobody perpetuates such stereotypes and misinformation in our presence.

1:14 AM  

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