‘Je Suis Turkey’

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In January 2015, extremists killed 12 people at the offices of the French satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo. The phrase, Je Suis Charlie (“I am Charlie”) swept Twitter and then Facebook and then newspapers and then the world. Je Suis Charlie expressed empathy for the cartoonists as well as support for freedom of speech.

Millions of people, including more than 40 world leaders, marched the streets of Paris in solidarity. These world leaders included British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, EU President Donald Tusk, and Jordan’s King Abdullah II.

Why Don’t Moderate Muslims Denounce Terrorism?

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They do. But it doesn’t make the news. Bad news, such as terrorist attacks, is news. Good news is not.

Immediately after the San Bernardino shootings, Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Los Angeles, said, “The Muslim community stands shoulder to shoulder with our fellow Americans in repudiating any twisted mind-set that would claim to justify such sickening acts of violence.” Tahmina Rehman, president of Buffalo’s Women’s Auxiliary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, criticized the shootings, noting that those who are truly faithful to the Quran live lives of peace and humility. Roshan Abbassi, an assistant imam at a San Bernardino mosque, said: “We are all against terrorism. … We all want peace.” Saira Khan, the sister of the shooter, said, “I believe that that’s not Islam. Islam condemns killing or hurting of anybody. Any person.”

Should I Be Charlie Hebdo?

It’s been a couple of weeks since two Islamic terrorists attacked and killed 12 people for publishing cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad. What lessons can we learn, when cooler headsB6wLoAvIEAAMZED prevail, from this horrific event?

The first lesson is theological. On that tragic and horrific day, Cherif and Said Kouachi, contrary to the most basic understanding of Islam, acted as gods. The first pillar of Islam is that there is just one God (Allah). And Allah alone has the authority to make ultimate decisions concerning human life. The Kouachi brothers, in assuming god-like authority over human lives, affirmed three gods – Allah, Cherif and Said.

Aurora to Islam

Consider the tragedy in Aurora. James Holmes, as far as we know, acted alone and of his own accord. He was not instructed to kill by a higher power or by a religious leader. He seems to have been acting out a scene in a Batman movie with himself playing the Joker. We will likely never know the reason why, armed to the teeth, he opened fire in a theatre and killed a dozen innocent people and wounded 58 more. Besides, what reason could he give that would make us stop and say, “Oh, so that’s why he killed twelve innocent people. Now I get it.”

Who Says Muslims are Terrorists?

My new Facebook friend, with the very unlikely name of Alo Ha Graphics, has posted some very interesting graphics online (go figure). This one is the most relevant to this blog. I have enjoyed most of his or her graphic postings. I’ll add them to this blog as appropriate. BTW: this is Alo’s 100th birthday (the name and the birthdate might be exaggerated). Please wish him a happy centennial.

How to be a Christian terrorist

 Suppose we concede that we have an irrational policy given that most attacks against the US have been by Muslims (or at least nominal Muslims).

It’s not clear, however, that we should make such a concession. Were all of the attackers Muslims in more than name? Here’s another way of putting it: did their Muslim beliefs motivate them or was it some other, say political, belief?

The Munich terrorists, for example, self-identified as Palestinians, not Muslims; their motivation was political not religious. I won’t belabor the point. Any time there is violence committed by an Arab, the West usually labels the perpetrator, “Muslim terrorist.” Socio-political considerations simply fall by the wayside.