Are Muslims to Blame for Terrorism in Middle East?
When Rep. Steve King, Republican from Iowa, who supports Ted Cruz for president, was asked by Chris Hays of MSNBC last Wednesday what he thought of Trump’s idea to ban all Muslims from entering the US, he said it has opened a needed debate that wouldn’t have happened if Trump hadn’t suggested it, implying that it’s a good debate to have. When Mr. Hays asked why he wouldn’t say the same about Christians when they commit mass murder and acts of terror, he replied that those aren’t “real Christians”, to which Mr. Hays correctly responded that that’s what Muslims say about Muslim terrorists, that they’re not real Muslims, to which Mr. King replied that the difference is that Islam advocates violence, whereas Christianity doesn’t.
But, the truth is that those who commit mass murder actually are real Muslims and real Christians, as well as those who say the mass murderers aren’t real Muslims or Christians because it’s not about religion; it’s not what either religion advocates or teaches or doesn’t, but what people do, whether in the name of religion or not. If people’s actions defined their religion, Christianity would be by far the most violent, the most tyrannical and the most oppressive religion, responsible for millions of violent deaths throughout human history. Both religions advocate peace, as well as violence; they both contain teachings of kindness and humanity, as well as reaction and intolerance. It’s rather ironic to talk about the virtues of Christianity compared to Islam, while supporting discrimination against Muslims.
Religion is an excuse for bigots’ intolerance and discrimination, whether it’s by liberal bigots like Bill Maher or Sam Harris or Republicans, just as it is an excuse for violence by reactionary and murderous groups like ISIS. Violent gangs will take advantage of opportunities to commit murder for their agenda and bigots will always find a reason to discriminate. If it’s not religion, it’ll be something else, like race or national origin or ethnic background. It’s not Islam that’s responsible for the creation or actions of ISIS, any more than Judaism is for the ongoing genocide against Palestinians or Christianity for the violence and mass murder imposed on tens of millions of people around the world by supposedly Christian nations.
Groups like ISIS rise up during social and political chaos, turmoil and lawlessness and take advantage of a lack of central authority and during vacuum in or lack of governance or during a failed state, much, if not all of it, brought on in the region by the US and its NATO allies, such as in Iraq, Libya and now Syria. To suggest that Islam, or worse Muslims in general, are responsible for the current terrorism in the region, the vast majority of whom happen to be Muslims, is to turn the facts upside down and disregard reason and logic. It’s no secret by now that the US and its allies were the ones who armed, funded and trained Islamist fighters and mercenaries, including the very ISIL or ISIS that Obama says he wants to “destroy”, in order to help topple the Syrian government.
Nor is this the first of its kind. The US did this before in 1980’s in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union, with the aid of Pakistan. And, it’s now using Turkey in Syria and against Russia. Turkey, a close US ally and NATO member not only has been actively supporting and arming ISIS, it’s also been buying oil the terror organization steals from Iraq and Syria, which helps fund its terrorist activities.
Liberals like Chris Hays might from time to time speak out against attacks on Muslims that has increased significantly of late, but as long as they refuse to hold the US and its allies responsible for the chaos, violence, destabilization and terror, their argument remains weak and ineffective. What’s needed is the understanding among the American public that the problem and the real source of violence and terror in the world is no other than the US government.