Archive | June, 2016

58. Deranged Murderers who Happen to be Muslims

29 Jun

Recently (June 28, 2016), I watched a Senate Hearing on terrorism chaired by Senator Ted Cruz. One of the main concerns was that the term “Radical Islam” must be used to identify terrorists. The confusion of the committee Senators and those interviewed was disheartening — and one of the chief problems was that no one stated that we DO have laws that cover the issues discussed.

Our constitution and legal precedent clearly states or implies that when a person commits a crime, all of the members of his religion are NOT also guilty and are NOT co-conspirators. Yet, if you listen to what Republicans on the committee have said, you would conclude just that. The Orlando terrorist was a Muslim, therefore all Muslims must be suspect and/or given special scrutiny? USA-citizen terrorist Timothy McVeigh was a Catholic. Does that mean that was must send investigators into Catholic churches, question priests, and patrol Catholic neighborhoods as Trump suggests. Should McVeigh be characterized as a “Radical Catholic.”

Because history shows that many of the worlds recent terrorists have been Muslim, does that mean that they are not subject to, and not given the rights of usual due-process. The laws and moral tradition of the USA demands that people of all religions must have the same process. The law guides us in searching buildings, questioning suspects, defining conspiracies, and in conducting other parts of an investigation.

Using the term “Radical Islam” may be technically correct, but it is offensive to members of that faith, and encourages hate crimes. It’s better to simply call them murderers, terrorists, or criminals than to insult and oppress the 1.6 billion members of a major faith. Not allowing Muslims into the USA (part of the Trump platform) promotes racism and a war between them and us. We have had enough wars on this planet. A USA vs. Muslim war can only be destructive for all concerned. We need the cooperation of our Muslim citizens and of Muslim countries in our efforts to prevent terrorism.

One further clarification — according to established definitions, we are at “war” with ISIS, but the few isolated “criminals” that murder others are not a part of that war. If a criminal  simply declares that he was inspired by ISIS, that does not make him an ISIS soldier. Our country has about 323 million people.  We have to expect that a few of them will be deranged and dangerous.

Remember that since 9-11-01 less than 10 terrorists in the USA have killed less than 90 of our citizens. Please see my Blog 33 (Dec. 2015). You are thousands of times more likely to be killed in an auto accident than by a terrorist. Let’s continue to vigorously fight the horrendous tragedy of terrorism, but at the same time, keep it in perspective. Fear mongering and hysteria will not solve this problem. Many members of the press are great responsible reporters, but big exciting features elevate TV ratings and sell ads.

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