as a Scapegoat
terrible deeds of such groups as Al Qaeda and ISIL
have dragged the issue of religion onto the world stage.
fashion a pseudo-claim of legitimacy, while exploiting religious
impulses, these groups have identified themselves with Islam. People
in the West who know little about this religion easily conclude
that Islam is a religion of aggressive sectarian war, dramatically
brutal killings and torture, ominous sounding laws and a hatred
of freedom. The fact that over a billion peace-loving people are
Muslim, and that these terrorist groups reflect more of a militia-style
extremism than a religious way of life has yet to sink in.
defense of those who are wary of Islam, groups like AL Qaeda
and ISIL purposely do everything they can to create and sustain
this fearful image. Preying on human weaknesses like fear is part
of every terrorist strategy. It helps eliminate local resistance,
attract misguided recruits, and cripple the efforts of their enemies.
Simply put, they want Westerners to hate Islam. It helps justify
every atrocity that they perform.
must prevent ourselves from doing that. It is bad enough that the
secluded prison at Guantanamo Bay has made a defeated bunch of prisoners
appear to be super-assassins that warrant such precautions. Our
leaders, no strangers to exploiting fear, strengthen this image
by refusing to bring them to American soil for trial. In this respect,
they have contributed to the myth of terrorist invincibility in
the face of Western cowardice. They have catered to fear and ignorance,
while ignoring the greatest weapon that we have: the power of truth
it comes to religion, it is well known that unscrupulous people
can find scriptural references to justify anything. The Torah and
Christian Bible have suffered from this abuse in regards to slavery,
butchery and Inquisitions. The Koran and Sunnah continue to be subjected
to the same creative distortions-justifying murder on one hand,
while condemning a religion of peace on the other.
do we change this?
start by recognizing an obvious fact. People express their religious
beliefs from what is held in their hearts already. People of peace
and love find references to the same in whatever scripture fate
presents them. Those who are bitter, envious, angry or bigoted will
find words that resonate for them as well. So too the disenfranchised,
the militant, those who cherish solitude and those eager to liken
themselves a prophets. There are even those who feel that God's
forgiveness allows them to sin without a twinge of conscience.
how the many admonishments of Jesus about greed and religious hypocrisy
have done little to stop the greedy and the hypocrites from smugly
proclaiming him as lord, while humble Christians carry the message
by tirelessly serving others from their hearts. The vast majority
of Christians are somewhere in between. Same Bible. Different results.
Closed hearts and stubborn minds see only what they want.
and Al Qaeda represent angry militants who, by nature
or nurture, sadistically enjoy hurting people. That they cloak their
evil in religion should come as no surprise. Christianity has owned
such people as well. To say so is not an attack on Christianity,
as some would claim. It is an attack on hypocrisy, which Christianity
has long condemned.
you want to help cripple Al Qaeda and ISIL, then refuse
to be their psychological pawns. Show respect rather than uninformed
hatred for Islam. Allow Muslims the world over see the West as being
true to its own ideals, even in the face of these terrorist groups
and their manipulative propaganda. The only way their negative beliefs
can overcome our ideals, is if we fail to live them.