Monday, February 16, 2015

Not all Muslims are terrorists, but are all terrorists Muslim?

This week’s rant is about President Obama’s speech at the National Prayer Breakfast. Obama told the audience that we should make sure to not get on our high horse about the violence taking place in the name of Islam because Christians are also guilty of the same sins. Of course, he had to reach back nearly a millenium to the crusades to make his analogy. He did try to bring his analogy a little closer to our time in history by referencing slavery and Jim Crow laws, but I’m not sure either was linked to Christianity. There has been national outrage over Obama’s remarks at the breakfast, and perhaps rightfully so, but in my opinion, his remarks are right in line with other remarks he has made about terrorists over the years. He doesn’t seem to want to link terrorism to Islam. Think about that for a minute. Can you think of any act of terrorism carried out in recent memory that wasn’t done in the name of Islam, radical though it may be. And I’m not by any stretch of the imagination trying to say that all Muslims are terrorists, but it sure is starting to seem like all terrorists are Muslim.

6 comments:

Jesse Belitekamine said...

Stan:

The point that you are making here is lazy and unproductive. What is the conclusion to which you are hoping to lead us, and is it any less inciting than if you were, in fact, arguing that all Muslims are terrorists?

Sandy Hook was an act of terrorism--it was perpetrated in the name of psychosis, but it terrorized people nonetheless. The same can be said for the Aurora shooting. For terror committed in the name of Christ, we need only reach back as far as the last Westboro Baptist demonstration; is it not terrorism to aggressively threaten unsuspecting mourners at a funeral with damnation should they not become proselytes to your faith, and to further lace your threat with epithets?

Something closer to home: In August, members of a Vietnamese gang abducted three men, slit their throats, and left their bodies on the shoulder of Kelly Drive in Philadelphia. That was a violent, deliberate act designed to terrorize people, and it happened just up the river from us.

So no, obviously not all terrorists are Muslims. It just seems like that because provincial, unimaginative, derisive, incurious editors like you enjoy reserving the term 'terrorist' for Muslims, as well as implicitly pointing to that preference as if it were evidence of something other than your own journalistic incompetence.

This 'opinion' of yours, which you saw so fit to publish in a public forum, is just the slovenly half-thought of a fool. The next one you have like it should be written on a square of toilet paper whose deployment is imminent.

Stan said...

Jesse,
I thought I was very clear in the conclusion I was trying to lead you to. President Obama will not link Islam to terrorism.
As for your examples of terrorism, you and I apparently have a different definition of the word.
And finally, name calling is the crutch those who truly have nothing constructive to say lean on the most.

Jesse Belitekamine said...

Stan:

Your intended conclusion is NOT that he is unwilling to link the two. Your intended conclusion is that he SHOULD link the two, because the two are half-synonymous. One of those conclusions is compelling. One of them is odd.

And what is your definition of terrorism exactly, and how do the examples I offer not qualify?

Finally, I stand by my name calling. I think it was mature and well-composed.

Stan said...

Jesse,
My definition of terrorism includes the traditional view of an organized group committing an act of violence. Your examples of the events taking place in America are indeed horrible, but they were not carried out by what we would traditionally define as a terrorist. As for your additional comment, I really don't waste much time on responding to such taunts. T

Jesse Belitekamine said...

Stan:

My examples don't qualify as terrorism--as you see it--because they weren't perpetrated by Muslims. An Islamic element has become the leading criteria for terrorism, or for a terrorist. Here's someone who wrote a considerate, compelling article: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/jehron_muhammad/Jehron-Muhammad-Muslims-express-outrage-at-inconsistent-application-of-terrorism-label.html

Maybe you could learn a thing or two, and take a break from your faith-baiting.

Stan said...

Jesse,
Always happy to learn a thing or two. I appreciate the link. I think we're talking semantics here. Certainly any act of violence carried out in scale is an act of terrorism. I would also not want for a moment to have anyone think that I was practicing any form of faith-baiting, as you put it. I was in fact, making the opposite point.
This conversation has been semi-interesting, but it completely ignores the premise of the column, which, if you recall, was that our president will not link Islam to terrorism.