Who are terrorists?

PeopleCAN YOU TELL BY LOOKING?

The commentary that I posted last week by Andrew Davey “A bubbling cauldron at UCI?” has generated some interesting responses.

For the record I do not support terrorism and I do not support terrorists.  What I do support is the notion (fact) that terrorists represent a fringe of society and societal groups who believe that violence against civilians is an acceptable practice. They are wrong, no matter what their mission is based upon.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines terrorism as: The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.

So in today’s world, who are the terrorists?  There are those who believe that the only terrorists in the current century are Islamic fundamentalists, Muslims.  The main stream media has managed to consistently reinforce this perspective in the minds of the public to the extent that comments for extremist conservative commentator Ann Coulter such as “Not all Muslims are terrorists BUT ALL terrorists in this century are Muslims,” seem reasonable and factual when they are not.

Afterall Timothy Mcveigh and Terry Nicholls who bombed the Federal Building in Oklahoma City were not Muslim; Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold who on April 20, 1999 killed 13 people at Columbine High School were not Muslim; and Seung Hui Cho who killed 32 people at Virgina Tech on April 16, 2007 in the largest mass shooting in U.S. history was not Muslim either.

Among those “believers” of Ann Coulter’s ignorant and bigoted statements is Jim Bieber from Orange County, a political consultant who specializes in “political attack mailers” who quoted Ann Coulter in a comment regarding Andrews post and a comment I made.

Prevatt: “My point is that there are radicals, fundamentalists, and zealots in many religions. They all share the same perspective that their particular belief is the only true belief and that they shall be the only people to live forever in the paradise of heaven.”

Bieber: True Chris, but what ONE religion is carrying out mass murder TARGETING civilians in the NAME of their religion?

As the wise and attractive Ann Coulter points out. Not all Muslims are terrorists BUT ALL terrorists in this century are Muslims.

You know, sometimes God does lead people to answers before they ask.  That happened Sunday morning for me when I turned on my computer to find this post on Daily Kos, Will a Dem Win in 2008 Generate Rightwing Violence? Here are some of the points made in the post:

Since 9/11, rightwing violence has gotten little media attention. Not because there hasn’t been any. For instance, there was the bomb found April 25 at the Austin Women’s Health Center in Austin, Texas. It didn’t explode. Had that bomb been found outside a post office or a school, the headlines would have been hysterically running on about saying TERRORISM, TERRORISM IS AL QAEDA INVOLVED? 

But since the incident involved a Women’s Health Clinic, no press coverage to speak of.

   • Late in April, 150 federal, state, and local law enforcement officers carried out simultaneous raids in four Alabama counties in a sweep that yielded 130 grenades, a rocket launcher, and 2,500 rounds of ammunition.. In the town of Trussville, it took a U-haul truck to cart away all the materiel. At the Collinsville camper belonging to militia “major” Taymond Dillard, agents first had to defuse trip-wires rigged to explode hand grenades to kill intruders.

   • Right-wing vigilantes arrested in a scuffle at one of the May 1 immigration marches, in Washington D.C., was found to have a stash of automatic weapons and explosives in his home.

   • Now this, the violence allegedly thwarted at Falwell’s funeral. One of the suspects is a soldier at Fort Benning – yes, he traveled all the way from Georgia with his munitions. Another was a high school student.

Just checking, were any of these terrorists Muslim?

Why do they hate us?

We’ve had the Uni-bomber, we’ve had the Oklahoma City bomber Tim McVeigh; we’ve had Eric Rudolph who was responsible for bombings at the Atlanta Olympics and family planning clinics, and of course let’s not forget the terrorism perpetrated daily throughout our country by gangs, whose members number in the tens of thousands if not more, and none faith based, much less based in Islamic faith.

Of course Bieber had to quote from Ann Coulter the mistress of hate who said:

Mistress of Hate

Wouldn’t such an action make our government no better than the radical Islamic terrorists?

Matt Cunningham over at Red County/OCBlog took issue with a comment I made on his site and promptly deleted it.  I had already posted it on this blog as well but he felt compelled to repost it with his commentary.

Chris Prevatt, champion of tolerance and enemy of “hate speech” had this to say on OC Blog:

“The sad thing here is that if Christian zealots were to ever win their war to eliminate the Muslim faith from this planet, they would soon turn on the Jews they are using for cover now.”

What was it you’ve been saying about hate speech?

He then followed up with this:

Well, Chris, making a baseless accusation that Christian “zealots” (I’m pretty certain your definition is far broader than most people’s) want to exterminate Jews and Muslims — I’d say that’s pretty hateful.

Well, my perspective is hardly baseless.  You only need to listen to some relatively prominent Christian zealots to support my statement.  Here are a few…

Benny Hinn proclaimed to thousands of Christians at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX that “We are on God’s side. This is not a war between Arabs and Jews. It’s a war between God and the devil.”

J. Don George, senior pastor of Calvary Temple in Irving, TX, accompanied Hinn on stage. He said: “Our faith is in Jesus Christ, and the Muslim community does not accept Jesus and God, and therefore we’re at odds with Muslims….Any religion or ideology that refuses to acknowledge the lordship of Jesus Christ could be typified as a war against Satan.” 

Paul Mills, pastor of Arlington Faith Chapel,  said that Muslims would find Hinn’s statement inappropriate. However, their complaints would be irrelevant because Jesus is the only way to heaven. He said: “The religion [of Islam] is a false religion as far as we believe.”

The common thread in these comments is the premise that any religion which does not recognize Jesus Christ as lord is evil and at war with Christianity. But maybe these are not enough to convince Matt or Jim Bieber, so here is a comment from a Co-founder of the Christian Coalition:

Rev. Bailey Smith, 1980 Religious Roundtable national affairs briefing in Dallas TX. God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew.”

My point is that there are extremists in virtually every formal religion; extremists who are willing to distort the words of their prophets and use terror against non-believers to achieve their world view.  There are even those who are willing to use our trust in them as religious leaders to exploit innocent children for their own personal gratification. It is unfair and unreasonable to take the words or actions of any religious zealot as the truth for all people who share that faith.  No one religion is a religion of terror.  No one religion is the source of all evil in the world.  People, not religions, choose to commit acts of terror.  Just because they commit those acts in the name of their religion does not mean that their religion supports or condones such acts.  In fact, I have yet to find one that does.

Are we there yet?

  11 comments for “Who are terrorists?

  1. June 5, 2007 at 9:18 am

    Great response Chris. Prepare for my series that details my conversion from a right wing Catholic nut to an open minded progressive. Part 1 of this highly anticipated series will be up this week. The reason I know you are correct, I was once among that ilk. I know the way they think, I know what drives them.

    Funny you mention the Atlanta Olympic Games bombing. Very few remember that the perpetrator Eric Rudolph bombed the games in the name of Jesus Christ. After the truth came out, you never heard anyone on the right mention the Atlanta Games again. You briefly heard when they caught him, but one can hear the crickets from the right. Imagine if the perpetrator had been a Muslim, the right would have been shouting and screaming even today “Remember the Atlanta Games.” Fact is they don’t want anyone to remember, because he helped to expose with the religious right is really about. They are as bad if not worse than Al Queda and the Taliban, and with Bush in office they don’t need a cadre of suicide bombers, they have the most powerful military on the planet at their disposal and the most deadly arsenal of weapons on the planet at their disposal. That should scare anyone to death to know these religious fanatics have the ear of the man who can press the button and send out troops, our future generation of Americans to their deaths.

  2. Jim Bieber
    June 5, 2007 at 12:42 pm

    I wish I wasn’t right.

    I wish America only had to worry about right wing kooks who live in homemade bunkers and take pot shots at abortion doctors.

    I was very specific in my challenge -

    “what ONE religion is carrying out mass murder TARGETING civilians in the NAME of their religion?

    As the wise and attractive Ann Coulter points out. Not all Muslims are terrorists BUT ALL terrorists in this century are Muslims.”

    Okay I’ll agree with your definition of terrorism. “The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.”

    Let’s look at your examples. Most were from the last century. “Afterall Timothy Mcveigh and Terry Nicholls who bombed the Federal Building in Oklahoma City were not Muslim; Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold who on April 20, 1999 killed 13 people at Columbine High School were not Muslim; and Seung Hui Cho who killed 32 people at Virgina Tech on April 16, 2007 in the largest mass shooting in U.S. history was not Muslim either.”

    Mcveigh was a terrorist, he did have a political agenda, he also was devoutly ANTI-Christian he was an atheist. Where’s the ideological or political reasons of the other shooters? They made terrorist actions but did not have a terrorist agenda. What’s the “ideological or political reasons” of the Crips doing a drive-by shooting?

    Here’s the rub. You site a few nut anti-abortion activists who are targeting abortion clinics. Bad people, do their actions met the definition of terrorist seeking to “coercing societies or governments” or are they self appointed vigilantes targeting individuals. Again REAL bad, they deserve the death penalty if caught and convicted but it does not fit your definition of terrorism.

    The real issue is support. NO Christians support any of these acts of violence that you’ve cited. Take a poll, look for a survey asking Christians if they support snipers killing abortion doctors. Its 0%.

    Last week the LA Times showed a poll of American Muslims answering the question “Do you support suicide bombing to as a way to defend Islam” 18% of those who responding said yes. In the age of 18 – 25 years old the response jumped to 25% who supported ‘suicide bombing’. In France, Muslims support of suicide bombing was 46%.

    Of those Muslims who were honest enough to publically support suicide bombing how many are willing to step over from advocacy to action? NONE ????

    But thanks to your posting of Ann Coutler’s picture we know one thing. I’m correct, she is attractive. Which also makes a point. I don’t know of any other woman in politics that is so vilified as being certifiably UGLY as Ann Coulter. LIBS just go on and on that she’s UGLY. That’s the problem, you guys hate the message so much you will deny physical evidence that’s staring you in the face.

    One last bit of trivia, who’s best selling radical book was in the Uni-bomber cabin? Hint, he uses 20 times the electricity as you and me. Ted K. was a left wing environmentalist – but your right he wasn’t a Muslim.

  3. Dan Chmielewski
    June 5, 2007 at 1:58 pm

    Ann isn’t ugly; its that pronounced Adam’s apple I can’t get past.

  4. Dan Chmielewski
    June 5, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    Jim –
    You’re wrong about McVeigh’s faith: here is his wiki reference.

    McVeigh was born in Lockport, New York, and raised in nearby Pendleton, New York. He was the middle child of three and the only boy. He earned his high school diploma from Starpoint Central High School. His parents, Mildred Noreen (“Mickey”) Hill and William McVeigh,[1] divorced when he was 10. McVeigh was known throughout his life as a loner; his only known affiliations were voter registration with the Republican Party when he lived in New York and a membership in the National Rifle Association while in the military.[2]

    Religious beliefs
    After his parents’ divorce, McVeigh lived with his father, and his sisters moved to Florida with their mother. ****He and his father were devout Roman Catholics who often attended daily Mass.**** In a recorded interview with Time Magazine[3] he professed his belief in “a God”, though he said he had “sort of lost touch with” Catholicism and “never really picked it [back] up.” *****The Guardian reported that McVeigh wrote a letter claiming to be an agnostic[4], though his execution included a Roman Catholic ceremony.******

  5. Jim Bieber
    June 5, 2007 at 2:38 pm

    Here’s the score for June 5, in this century. Should I list all 8,000 terrorist attacks committed by Muslims since 9/11/01 (a rate of about three or four a day)?

    6/5/06 Iraq Suwayra 4 Killed Four men are stabbed to death by Muslim militants.

    6/5/05 Thailand Narathiwat 2 Killed A man and his brother are shot to death in their shop by Muslim terrorists.

    6/5/05 India Bandipore 2 Killed The Mujahideen abduct and kill two civilians.

    6/5/05 Iraq Shorgat 1 Killed 3 injured An Iraqi soldier is killed by a suicide bomber on a motorcycle.

    6/5/05 Thailand Pattani 1 killed A man is murdered by Muslim radicals while leaving his tea shop.

    6/5/04 Iraq Musayyib 7 Killed Jihadists disguise themselves as police officers to gain entrance to a police station, then proceed to kill seven officers in cold blood.

    6/5/04 Bangladesh Dhaka 9 Killed 25 injured At least nine people, including an infant and two women are killed when a state bus is set on fire by organized Islamic terrorists. About thirty others are hospitalized for serious burns.

    6/5/04 Iraq Mosul 17 injured Militants fire RPGs at jobseekers lining up outside a recruitment office. Seventeen are injured.

    6/5/04 Iraq Baghdad 4 killed 1 injured Mujahideen gunmen kill four civilian contractors in an ambush – two Americans and two Poles.

    6/5/04 Algeria Jijel 3 killed Islamic extremists ambush and kill a policeman and two village guards.

    6/5/04 India Mawar 2 killed Hezb-ul-Mujahedeen gunmen invade a home and kill a 55-year-old woman and her daughter.
    6/5/03 Afghanistan Kandahar Nine people are killed by a Taliban attack.

    6/5/03 Chechnya North Ossetia 17 Killed 12 injured Female Fedayeen suicide bomber blows up a bus containing civilians and military personnel. At least seventeen are killed and more than a dozen injured.

    6/5/02 Israel Afula 17 killed 38 injured Seventeen people killed by a Muslim suicide bomber while riding in a bus. Thirty-eight others were injured.
    6/5/02 India Kashmir 3 killed Three civilians are killed by Jihadis is separate attacks.

    6/5/02 Indonesia Tentena 4 killed 17 injured A bomb planted by Muslim radicals explodes on a church bus killing four Christians, including the pastor, and wounding seventeen.

  6. Jim Bieber
    June 5, 2007 at 2:41 pm

    In an article by United Kingdom’s “The Guardian” about McVeigh’s execution, we find this reference:

    “In his letter, McVeigh said he was an agnostic but that he would “improvise, adapt and overcome”, if it turned out there was an afterlife. “If I’m going to hell,” he wrote, “I’m gonna have a lot of company.”

    Note the above that McVeigh “said he was an agnostic” but not only that, but that he was defiant about hell itself and remain unrepentant. Then we also find the same statement that he was an agnostic admitted by Lou Michel during a cyber interview with CNN. Lou Michel spent hours interviewing McVeigh in writing a book titled, “American Terrorist: Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing”. Michel’s words are enlightening:

    Lou Michel: McVeigh is agnostic. He doesn’t believe in God, but he won’t rule out the possibility.

  7. June 5, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    Someone needs a dictionary. If you don’t believe in God, or any god, you’re an atheist. If you are not sure, and quite comfortable saying there might or might not be one, then you’re an agnostic. Two different things.
    And I’d also like to know why we’re limiting the timeframe to just this century, especially since it’s only seven years old. For *every* religion out there, there’s been some point in their past where a set of believers thought it was quite reasonable to kill civilians.
    And if that “20 times the electricity” was a nod to Gore, you might want to go back and check your facts on that one.
    Finally, I’ll reassert what Chris said, that people kill, not religions, so your “what ONE religion” remark is incorrect unless you can show that every single Muslim supports terrorism.

  8. Dan Chmielewski
    June 5, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    Jim — I saw that site too; I’m simply pointing out you don’t attend mass daily if you’re agnostic.

    And yes, this century, many of the terorrist attacks have been committed by Muslims, but recent memory of OK City, Columbine were just last decade.

    As usual, you have missed the point of Chris’ post; that extremists exist in all forms of organized religion and these extremists are the ones who pervert the peaceful religions of the world to justify violence (go to http://www.godhatesamerica.com for examples).

    And while we’re at it, you do know that the US/CIA trained the Mujahedeen is methods of terrorism (the target was the soviets at the time), don’t you?

  9. June 5, 2007 at 3:43 pm

    Dan,

    Jim Bieber does not care about the truth. He only cares about perpetrating the Christian/Muslim War he believe God foretold in Revelations. Bieber hates Muslims, pure and simple, most conservatives do. They are no different when they call for killing the Muslim infidels and forcibly converting the survivors to Christianity.

    That’s why I have my solution to the War on Terror. Grab Bieber and other Christian right wing fanatics. Grab Osama, the Mujahadeen and other Muslim fanatics. Put them on some undesireable land somewhere, and let them fight their war and let the rest of us live in peace.

  10. Jim Bieber
    June 5, 2007 at 3:55 pm

    Claudio:

    No need to grab me. Just follow my four step plan to ending Islamic terrorism.

    #1 pull troops out of Iraq (can do!)
    #2 pull troops out of Afghanistan (In a week)
    #3 All US troops out of the Middle East and the Asia (bring them home six months tops)
    #4 end all aid and military support to Israel

    No need for a rumble on an “underireable land” somewhere between the forces of good and evil.

    All we have to do is give them what they want, 1 -4.

    Muslims terrorists would never target a country like Canada. If we’re like them or Holland we’ll be okay.

  11. June 5, 2007 at 4:17 pm

    Jim, I’ll respond to more of your “Plan to End Terrorism” later tonight, but I just want to clarify, since youi seem to have forgotten, the United States occupation of Iraq never had anything to do with the so called “War on Terror.” The terrorists now in Iraq are there because when we unjustly invaded Iraq we forgot to secure the border and let them slip in to take pot shots at our troops. The vast majority of attacks on our troops, as well as the resulting deaths and injuries, are due to Iraqi insurgents whow want us out of their country.

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