Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I don't buy the Islamophobia

Osama bin Laden had a goal to create an army of 12,000 hardcore radical Islamic militants to serve as a cadre in a larger struggle for global jihad. He failed. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in his direct confrontation of US forces in Iraq had called for Muslims from all over the globe to come join him in his struggle to defeat democracy. He failed.

Imagine for a moment. bin Laden had a modest goal. 12,000 core troops. Out of an estimated one billion Muslims, he needed only 1/100 of 1% of them and he couldn't muster even that. Zarqawi managed even less. There is no great rush of Muslims to jihad against democracy. Muslims like people everywhere want to have a say in their future. I know people can pick pieces of Koranic scripture and "prove" that Muslims are inherently evil, I just don't buy it.

It doesn't take a lot of people to pull off a suicide bombing. 9/11 was done with less than 50 people including planning and logistics support. The actions of less than 50 people do not reflect the values of the community they come from. To draw that conclusion would be to say that all white people in the US supported the KKK. There are estimated to be 5 to 8 million Muslims living in the United States. There has not been a single act of terrorism committed against the United States by an American Muslim since 9/11 that I am aware of. If there has been, it has been a very isolated incident. If Islam were such a radical murderous religion, I would think we would have had many serious incidents by now. As Timothy McVeigh demonstrated, all it takes is two or three people to create serious havoc. Nothing of the sort has happened. Why?

What we are witnessing are acts by a very small number of, quite frankly, idiots. They are fanatics. The KKK doesn't represent white people, though they would tell you that they do. al Qaeda doesn't represent Islam though they would tell you that they do.

There are a BILLION Muslims in this world. I see some arrests ... 5 people here. 10 people there. Maybe a roundup of 20 or 30 sometimes. But out of millions of people in a country, rounding up a dozen or two does NOT constitute a statistically significant portion of the population. We round up groups of organized crime members in numbers like that. Does that mean everyone from New Jersey is an organized crime member? Does that mean that every citizen of France traffics in child pornography? Does that mean that all people in California are members of a drug ring? No.

I have known Muslims in my life. I served with a Muslim in the military. I interact with Muslims on a daily basis at work and in general commerce in my community. My mechanic is Muslim. I have never heard a mean word leave their mouth. They have always treated me fairly and with respect.

Americans that believe that Islam is by nature a murderous religion and needs to be destroyed have taken the bait of the fanatics hook, like, and sinker. They have bought in to the notion that the fanatics represent Islam. These people that would even kill other Muslims whose traditions they disagree with have managed to convince some non-Muslims that their interpretation of Islam is correct. That is part of the game and they have been led by the nose right into it. The fanatics NEED for non-Muslims to have fear and to lash out in order to use that to gain more recruits. They can use the words of hate, the statements of people who would want Islam destroyed, to recruit more Muslims to their perverted cause. They can say that Americans want to destroy Islam so Muslims must come and join jihad.

Until I see more than a very, very tiny portion of the Muslim population buying that drivel, I am not going to buy it.

If one were to read the Bible and take it literally, they would be commanded to destroy the sons of Ammon. Those words were of a different time and are preserved only to serve as an example today and to give hope in times of extreme hardship. They are not designed to be taken literally in the current context. The same is true with the Koran. Much of what is says that would seem brutal was concerning a particular circumstance in the past and wasn't expected to be an ongoing command through history. It was preserved to serve as example. To be taken in an abstract not a literal sense. Yes, the Koran is the word of God to the Muslims, but those were words pertaining to a specific circumstance at a particular time.

Taken out of context, I can probably find scripture to justify anything I might want to do. Murders have been committed more than once based on someone's twisted interpretation of scripture. We are talking about such a tiny number of people. Please, don't allow it to go to your head. I am very disappointed in what I have been reading on many blogs these days. Yes, in this day a small number of people can cause a great number of casualties but the fact remains, it is a small number of people. Let us try to keep our perspective.

And good luck to the Iraqi people in their voting today. I wish you good health and prosperity and that you deserve it!


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