CAN YOU TELL BY LOOKING?
TheÃ‚Â commentary that I posted last weekÃ‚Â 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.Ã‚Â 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.Ã‚Â They are wrong,Ã‚Â no matter whatÃ‚Â 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?Ã‚Â There are those who believe that the only terrorists in the current century are Islamic fundamentalists, Muslims.Ã‚Â 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 asÃ‚Â “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: Ã¢â‚¬Å“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.Ã¢â‚¬Â
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.Ã‚Â 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?Ã‚Â 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 aboutÃ‚Â sayingÃ‚Â TERRORISM, TERRORISM IS AL QAEDA INVOLVED?Ã‚Â
But since the incident involved a Women’s Health Clinic, no press coverage to speak of.
Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ 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.
Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ 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.
Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ 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?
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:
WouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t such an action make our government no better than the radical Islamic terrorists?
Matt Cunningham over at Red County/OCBlog took issue withÃ‚Â a comment I made on his site and promptly deleted it.Ã‚Â 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 Ã¢â‚¬Å“hate speechÃ¢â‚¬Â 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 youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been saying about hate speech?
He then followed up with this:
Well, Chris, making a baseless accusation that Christian Ã¢â‚¬Å“zealotsÃ¢â‚¬Â (IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m pretty certain your definition is far broader than most peopleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s) want to exterminate Jews and Muslims Ã¢â‚¬â€ IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d say thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pretty hateful.
Well, my perspective is hardly baseless.Ã‚Â You only need to listen to some relatively prominent Christian zealots to support my statement.Ã‚Â 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.”Ã‚Â
Paul Mills, pastor of Arlington Faith Chapel,Ã‚Â 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 commentsÃ‚Â 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 fromÃ‚Â 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.Ã‚Â 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.Ã‚Â No one religion is a religion of terror.Ã‚Â No one religion is the source of all evil in the world.Ã‚Â People, not religions, choose to commit acts of terror.Ã‚Â Just because they commit those acts in the name of their religion does not mean that their religion supports or condones such acts.Ã‚Â In fact, I have yet to find one that does.