I have to say this is probably one of the most difficult pages I’ve ever had to write. So why am I doing it? Because I don’t believe that we should limit our own opinions to the easy topics.
See, here’s the thing. Spiritually speaking, I’m a minority. See, I’ve been ordained as a High Priest in the practice of a celtic-born faith known as Wicca. It’s been known to be one, if not THE fastest growing faith in the United States. I’ve undergone some minor persecution and discrimination on benefits from the government and military; thankfully, not from the specific soldiers with which I’ve served. But institutionally, I had challenges until just a couple of years before I discharged.
So What Does This Have To Do With Muslims?
Well, I say all of that because I have some notion of what it’s like to be targeted because of my faith. Not that I’m anywhere near the ballpark of the severity that muslims deal with these days, but I have the concept down pretty good.
So it’s been well practiced and well documented that muslims are encouraged – some would say mandated – to convert others to Islam or kill them. We’ve seen cases where muslims in America have tried to enforce Sharia Law. Many Islamic countries have persecuted, imprisoned or even killed those of non-Islamic faith. We see groups like Al-Qaeda, ISIS/Daesh, Boko Haram, Islamic Revolutionary Guard, Haqqani Network, Kataib Hezbollah just rain unprovoked attacks time and time again on the United States and other countries. In fact, the top 5 Deadliest Terrorist Organizations (listed by the National Interest Magazine) are all Islamic in nature.
So, in short, I can’t ignore the simple fact that muslims are known for the some most horrific high-profile attacks of terror and murder. We’ve seen how muslims treat women – some scholars would even say it’s dictated by Sharia Law. Though there are differences on whether women need to cover themselves with a burqa, there are cases where muslim women are barred from education.
Then, there are articles like this: What ISIS Really Wants
The Other Side
See, the idea that the Q’uran encourages violence towards infidels is known. We’ve seen passage time and time again. But so does the Christian Bible. And while we are seeing acts of horrific violence in the name of Christianity, we aren’t trying to deport christians.
Many gun owners tend to use the concept of “don’t blame the gun, blame the shooter, as put in this meme:
The simple response is its inverse:
But Muslims Are Terrorists and Christians are Peaceful!
Actually, no. Christians have been more violent and more terroristic than most other faiths around the world throughout history. How many people died in the name of God during the Crusades, or during the various witch trials in history? Hell, you don’t even have to go very far back in time to see a slew of terroristic activity by christians. Here’s a list of ten attacks by christians going no further back than 11 years.
Muslims Are Trying to Convert All Non-Muslims!
I’m not going to lie. That one’s true. But not like you think it is.
See, we don’t go trying to kill or depart all those door-to-door mormons, do we? But they’re trying to convert all non-Mormons. Christianity has been spreading, often times by coercion or force, for centuries.
So why do Muslims try to convert everybody to their faith? For much the same underlying reason: they believe that their faith is the only true faith, and everybody should have their eyes opened to the truth. The same reason as Christianity. It’s a concept I don’t subscribe to, but understand. And these oftentimes forced conversions happen at the threat of violence; just like christians not all that long ago. And, just like many extremist christians today, muslims have their extremists who get an unfair portion of the news stories.
Hell, in Africa, some muslims were forced by violence to convert to Christianity as reported JUST LAST YEAR!
Ultimately, I Can’t Blame Them All
I’ve had muslim friends who were peaceful and promoted true peace between all cultures. Not one of those individuals were, I believe, capable of terroristic activities without some life (and mind) altering event happening in their lives.
But I’m Not Blind or Stupid
This is the part that some of my friends won’t like.
Remember that part above where I recognize the terroristic acts of muslims, and that many of their organizations wind up on “most violent” lists? I don’t ignore that. I keep it in mind.
So if I see a woman in a hijab or a burqa, or a man in a dishdasha, I’m going to perk up and pay attention. It’s something that’s outside of the baseline* of behavior, but not enough to say that they’re violent. I’ll pay attention to what they’re carrying, if their arms are swinging, if they’re looking around furtively – all the same shit I’m looking at others for. The clothing (or any indication of their religious affiliations) are just another “head’s up” that I should at least check things out.
And all those Christian terrorists, or muslims who don’t dress in traditional garb? Well, their clothing doesn’t put them above the baseline by itself. I look for other indicators. And skin color isn’t one of them, since that “muslim” might actually be a Sikh – which have been enemies with muslims for some time.
Be vigilant and safe!
*For more information on establishing baselines and watching for potential terrorists/attackers, please read Left of Bang: How the Marine Corps’ Combat Hunter Program Can Save Your Life by former Marine Captain Patrick Van Horne, or check out his current company’s training programs at http://www.cp-journal.com/