Greetings and Salutations;
A relative posted some questions about the issues of terrorism in the world today, and, I have to say I found them worthy of consideration. So…here are the questions and my responses.
how many Muslims in the world?
Approximately 1.6 Billion
How many Muslims are terrorists?
The last numbers I saw indicated there were roughly 200,000 members of Daesh – Which many Muslims say is NOT Islamic. It would not be out of line to say that up to a Million are radical and have either directly or indirectly taken part in terroristic acts.
How many Christians are in the world?
about 2.2 billion
How many Christians are terrorists?
Not an easy question to answer as there are no easily accessible numbers. However, here is an interesting article that addresses the question –About Terrorist Attacks In America Also, there is this interesting examination of the issue – The bottom line in both articles is that Muslims are responsible for only a small percentage of the terroristic attacks in America. As for the world as a whole….it MIGHT be true that Sunni Muslims do a majority of “terroristic” acts. However, that does kind of depend on what “Terroristic” is. Also, a vast majority of these attacks are against other Muslims, so from America’s standpoint are meaningless.
Do Christians consider Christian terrorists to be true Christians?
What is a “true Christian?” I, for one, who am a moderate in many areas, including faith, do NOT consider the many people who claim to be Christians, but cherry-pick verses from the bible, twist their meaning, and in general ignore Christ’s teaching to push a hate-filled and bigoted agenda to be Christian. In James, it says “Faith, without works, is dead”. Christ also said “By their fruits, ye shall know them”. There are millions of other Christians who share my views, and, so, I would say that a vast majority of Christians would say “no, they are NOT Christian” Of course, there is a spectrum of believe in the bucket “Christians”, and that includes too many Conservatives who would say “yes, they are true Christians, because they are saving the unborn, or opposing same sex marriage, or, fighting the unbelievers, or any other of a long list of rationalizations to excuse the fact that they are sticking with the Old Testament, and NOT following Christ’s message in the New Testament.
Do Muslims consider Muslim terrorists to be true Muslims?
While I cannot provide the supporting quotes, not being Muslim, I tend to believe that there is no significant difference between Christians and Muslims in this area. The comments to the proceeding question apply here too. Now, the ONE difference I can see is that in my opinion the Qu’aran is, essentially, the Old Testament, which is a bloody record of the draconian response to the laws being broken. Islam does not have, or has not adopted, the New Covenant of Christ, as laid out in the New Testament. This, I believe, is one factor in why it seems the fanatics in that group can be so violent and appear to glory in blood. That having been said, one thing that has NOT been reported widely is the fact that tens of thousands of Imams have issued papers condemning the excesses of Daesh. Also, for every Muslim who murders unarmed innocents, there are millions who are loving, tolerant people who just want to take care of their family, and be friends with their neighbors.
Does each group consider the other group’s terrorists as terrorists first or the other group as a primary characteristic?
I cannot speak for the Muslim community, but I suspect that their breakdown of belief is similar to the Christian community. That is…a vast majority look upon the attacks on an individual basis, and realize that they are the actions of one or a few fanatics who are not representative of the group as a whole.
I know for a fact though, that there are too many “Christians” – or CINOs as I call them (Christians In Name Only) who Do believe that if one Muslim is a terrorist…they all are. This ranges from the local garbage man up to candidates for president. This is foolish, hateful and not true, of course. I also find it interesting that these same people are totally blind to the fact that others might look at Christians through the same glasses when a single shooter kills at a Planned Parenthood clinic, or a movie theatre, or an innocent Muslim child is beaten and insulted simply for being a Muslim. It is a sad blindness.
What if any enforcement efforts can each group do to preemptively do to prevent its group of terrorists from terroristic acts?
Again, not an easy question to answer. However, One common thread among all the fanatics who murder innocents is that they ALWAYS have left a long trail of red flags warning of the danger. Their personality changes as the spin up to do the deed, the social network postings, the changes in their daily activity, all are warning signs that something is wrong. We do not like to stick our nose into someone else;s business but, perhaps if friends or family had reached out to them, they could have been stopped before they went over the cliff. Or, as a last resort, the authorities should be notified and those authorities should actually DO something, instead of just blowing it off. If we had a more robust mental health care system, it could be an excellent tool for helping folks get out of their delusions. This could include Clergy who could engage the person, and attempt to clarify their misunderstandings and misinterpretations Be that as it may, this requires a diverse society that is non-judgemental and willing to take tha step of doing something that, up front, may not be appreciated, and may bring some conflict and strife into the life of the person doing the intervention..
How to do that without placing limits on the free expressions of religion, regardless of how nutty that belief system may be?
This is a tightrope, in that it is skirting close to the alligator pit of ignoring the Constitutional protections we benefit from. However, as I pointed out in the previous question, it seems like it could be possible to see when a person is slipping into the trap of fanaticism and homicide, and catch them. Of course, at this point in time, we, as a society have tiny numbers of terrorist attacks. Perhaps we could simply continue as we are…with the cops doing their best to find conspiracies and arresting and charging those involved. We cannot eliminate these attacks, any more than we can ensure that we will never have another airplane crash.
That having been said, there are some changes to society that would, I believe, keep these from happening. a) Our would-be leaders MUST stop using the language of bigotry, hate and violence against those that are different from us. Look, for example at the fiery rhetoric being spewed out by the Right Wing these days! They are condemning ALL Muslims based on the actions of a tiny percentage of them. This has already had negative effects. It has caused a number of people of color who may or may not have been Muslim to be attacked with hate speech and actual, physical injury. It is causing our “leaders” to build walls to keep people from seeking sanctuary in America in their attempts to get away from war and insanely fanatical behavior that is killing them and their families, and destroying their lives. This in spite of the fact that these refugees have been through a rigerous screening process that has found that they have NO connections with terrorist organizations. Too many of us ordinary citizens are attacking people who have done nothing, simply because we have been filled with this delusional hate. There have been several Muslim shopkeepers who have been attacked by psycho white guys. There is the young girl who, a couple of weeks ago, was attacked by several white boys at school, beaten, had her Hajab ripped off, and called a “Sand Nigger” and other racist terms. She is 13 years old! The rot that produces this kind of hate and evil actions need to change.
now….back to the question… We must, as a society, make an effort to interact with, and come to understand the Muslims who are good citizens and who are fine people. By doing this, we can undercut the hateful actions that generate the sort of frustrated fanaticism that leads to these attacks. The people we hate and attack are not the folks that are our neighbors, who we interact with on a regular basis. They are the “Stranger” the person who we can paint as being less than human, and so bei ok to attack and kill.
This is, alas, a complicated issue, with no easy answers. However, we, as a society need to move back towards the sort of tolerance and love that Christ taught, or, our society will be doomed to destruction. As the above links point out, a vast majority of terrorist attacks in America come from people that are NOT Muslim. Becoming a more tolerant society and one that avoids heated rhetoric for moderation will likely cut down on those attacks. A calmer state of mind will also cause the rest of the world to look at us with less concern, wondering if, like a mad dog backed into a corner, we are going to lash out with death and destruction. We are, after all, the ONLY country on Earth that has exploded nuclear weapons on another country. That is the sort of event that, if nothing else, leaves everyone wondering…Will they do it again?