Roberta X says she may give up blogging. The issue of blanket condemnation of Islam for the acts of a few is grinding away at her. She has a point. Is it right or proper to condemn all Muslims for the acts of a few?
Should We Condemn Them All?
But, here is another perspective:
The "Unlikely" Terrorist?
Let's consider the problem for a moment in an historical context. Do we have some historical data to give us a perspective on terrorism? Review the last thirty years for major homicide bombings, mass shootings as a terrorist tactic, random acts of violence committed against unsuspecting innocents, and what do you discover?
There is a serious shortage of Protestants, Jews, Buddhists and atheists committing these acts. Nary a Catholic or a Wiccan on the roster. We get young, disaffected, bearded men in keffiyah and C-4 vests shouting Allahu Akbar as they wreak havoc. Is it stereotyping to acknowledge that grandmothers, pregnant women and business suited Wall Street brokers aren't doing this sort of thing?
What are the goals? Look around the world at the status of women in society. Where do we find not simply repression but abuse, denial and servitude for any and all women? Can we find other societies beyond Islamic nations which deny education as a matter of policy? Are there other places that prohibit driving by women? Who else sanctions "honor" killing for violations of Sharia? If there are others, then we should note them in our quest for securing our future.
Are those nations interested in simply "live and let live" where they do their thing and we do ours? Or, do they profess an active and aggressive interest in spreading their benighted views to the infidels that offend them? If they were to stay in their twelfth century medieval squalor, I might be able to feel more secure. Ground Zero in New York tells me that isn't the case as does a readiness center at Fort Hood, a nightclub in Indonesia, a disco in Berlin, a train station in Madrid, an Underground tube in London and many other sites.
Can we ignore the fact that deep in our minds when the first breaking news headline appears for a shooting, a bombing, a hijacking, we immediately take a deep breath and wait for the name of the perpetrator. We are seldom surprised when it is clearly of Islamic origin. Coincidence?
Freedom of religion is a worthy objective. There is no doubt of that. There are millions of peaceful Muslims around the globe. That is obvious. But, there are also millions of festering, potential, disaffected, fundamentalist, time-bombs being indoctrinated in madrasahs world-wide.
Should we stereotype? Should we ascribe positive attitudes as the default for Muslims? Is it a religion of peace? Frankly, I've got serious doubts. Repeatedly telling me something in words and then repeatedly disproving it in violent actions will make me skeptical and inevitably aggressive.