dzhokhar tsarnaev

dzhokhar tsarnaev

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the second suspect in the horrific Boston Marathon explosions has been apprehended.    Presumably, we can take a break from round-the-clock coverage of the chase that has consumed the nation.    Less than 24 hours ago, no one had heard of the Tsarnaev brothers.    That’s almost literally true:  even their uncle had not heard from them in years.    Now they are macabre celebrities whose every online trace is being analyzed for any clue as to what might have led them to commit such atrocities.    The breathless analysis of the 24-hour news media continues to offer theories and half-baked motivations even when the basic facts have not been yet gathered.

Here are ten basic points that we would all do well to keep in mind as we try to make sense of a world that seems to be in need of sanity and compassion.

1)    Those who know the suspects best say that this had nothing to do with being Chechen, or with Islam.

Ruslan Tsarni, the suspects’ uncles, went to meet the national media, and gave a powerful, honest, and passionate presentation.   He encouraged his nephew, Dzhokhar, to turn himself in.  He also called his own nephews “losers,” and stated that this atrocity had nothing to do with being Chechen or Islam.  Tsarni spoke powerfully about his love for America, and how silly it is to associate this crime with an ethnicity or religion.   Tsarni also encouraged Dzhokhar to beg his victims for forgiveness.

2)    The experts you see on TV opining on Chechnya and the Chechen people do not know anything about Chechnya.  

Chechnya is a fairly remote region.   There are few people on TV with actual expertise about Chechnya.   Most of these “instant experts” go to Wikipedia to get their information.  Because of the 24-hour news media, we now have created a cult of instant experts who need to be able to fill the airways now about Iraq, now about Afghanistan, now about Chechnya, without necessarily having set foot on these places, knowing their languages, their history, or spoken with their peoples.    Complex geo-political realities are collapsed into cliché tropes of “jihad” and “terrorism.”   The late Edward Said made this same point 30 years ago for the first time.  It is even more true today with social media and the fake experts paraded on Fox and elsewhere.

Here is one simple revelation: Read the Wikipedia page on Chechnya, and then see how many of its phrases show up in the sound bites of these instant experts.

So where can one turn?   It’s not perfect, but as a starting place for Chechnya start here and here.    If you can handle satire on such heavy occasions, The Onion pretty much nails it.

3)    The power and danger of social media

We do live in amazing days, when people are putting on Twitter the content from police scanner before the TV news sources have reported it.    Yes, the information from social media called into the FBI doubtlessly helped identify the suspects.     Amazing power there.

And yet this powerful tool also goes wrong, horribly wrong.   This tool produces victims and violence of its own.

In the early morning hours of Friday, the suspicion focused on Sunil Tripathi, an Ivy-league graduate philosophy student of Indian background who has been missing for weeks.    Imagine the horror of his family, who has not heard from their loved ones for weeks, only to see his name and image all over national TV.    It turns out it was all a false alarm, on to the next suspect.    Never mind.  No hard feelings.

4)    The two brothers do not exactly fit the model of pious Muslims.

We don’t know much about the two brothers, and all of us—myself included—are trying to piece together a narrative from the few pieces that we have available.    The few pieces we have do not exactly add up to a life of pious observance of Islam.    Their high school friends talk about the two brothers getting together, drinking, and smoking pot.    

We are very much in the early stage of piecing evidence together: the few isolated quotes we have from the two brothers so far suggests that they were not particularly practicing, before having a “conversion” experience connected to jihadist rhetoric associated with Australian extremist Sheikh Feiz, etc.

We have seen this before, in the case of the 9/11 hijackers who visited strip clubs and got loaded up on alcohol and porn before committing their atrocities—again, not the actions of Muslim role models.   At this point the path of wisdom is to wait for the legal process to uncover more actual facts about the lives of the two suspects.

5)    Alienation

While many of the sites are busy trying to connect the despicable actions of the bombers to Islam or Chechen ethnicity, at least one important clue seems to be in the same alienation that characterized many mass murderers such as Adam Lanza and the Columbine shooters.

The elder brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, said:

“I don’t have a single American friend, I don’t understand them.”

We have a lot of questions to ask, and seek for answers, trying to sort out how it is possible to live in a society where people can be so disconnected and cut off from the human beings next to them.    Obviously very few Americans go around blowing people up.  But that alienation, combined occasionally with mental illness, is a bigger problem than we are willing to confront at this moment.

Another scholar, Juan Cole, offers an intriguing theory of a broken family dynamic, focused around tensions between the two sons and their father.

6)    Islam forbids terrorism.

No matter what the experts on TV say, and for that matter what the two brothers might have said, here is one simple fact.   Islamic law does not permit the random, indiscriminate killing of civilians.     It is categorically forbidden.     The Prophet Muhammad himself forbade the killing of women, elderly, civilians, and religious leaders.

Over the next few weeks we will undoubtedly learn much more about the two brothers, but we should not conflate their deranged motivations and the teachings of the Islamic tradition.    Period.

Muslim organizations immediately condemned Monday’s atrocities, and have set up a fund for the victims.

As everyone is of course fully aware, there are some Muslims who engage in terrorist activities.   There are also some Jews, some Christians, some atheists, some Hindus, etc.   No religion has a monopoly on hatred and idiocy, and no religion has a monopoly on love, compassion, and beauty.    Rather, my point is quite simply this: Even in those cases (including this one, if the judicial process proves it to have been one) that some Muslims engage in terrorist activities, they do so over and against Islamic teachings about the sanctity of human lives that prohibit the violation of shedding civilian blood.    These prohibitions go back to the very example of the Prophet.

Muslim terrorists (and all perpetuators of violence and oppression) deserve to be studied carefully.   However, to depict them as embodying the essence of Islam (as Islamophobic forces routinely do) is precisely to grant them the very legitimacy that they crave.   They neither possess nor deserve this legitimacy.

 

7)    Political opportunism

We are already seeing the calls by right-wing fanatics seeking to use this tragedy to advance their own political causes.    The same congressman (R-NY) Peter King who had lead embarrassing and inaccurate Muslim witch-hunts on the House is now calling for increased profiling of Muslims.

Lindsay Graham Twitter

Lindsay Graham Twitter

 

We have also seen our elected officials such as Lindsay Graham (R-SC) opining that the suspect should not be afforded his full constitutional rights.   In fact, Dzhokhar did not get to hear his Miranda rights.   Yes, we are all delighted that he was captured, but the skipping of legal rights hurts all of us.

 

After Dzhokhar was captured, the Boston Police department sent out a Tweet:
““The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody.”

As usual, Glenn Greenwald puts it as clearly and powerfully as possible here.

Yes, thank God the hunt is over, and the suspect is in custody.   Now we have to make sure that justice does indeed win.
We have to make sure that we honor our legal process.

8)    Hate crimes against Muslim Americans

It has already begun.  We have already seen a number of attacks on Muslims in America who had absolutely nothing to do with Monday’s atrocities—that is to say, every person in America not named Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

Heba Abolaban:  American Muslim targeted in hate crime
A Bangladeshi man was attacked in Bronx as he stepped outside of an Applebee’s.     The attackers shouted ““f–king Arab” as they savagely beat him.   [Bangladeshis are not Arab, and for that matter neither are the Chechens.]

A Syrian woman was confronted as she was going for a walk in Malden, Massachussetts.   Heba Abolaban, who is a physician, was heading with her daughter in a stroller to a play date.   A man walked up to her, punched her in the shoulder, and shouted at her:  “Fuck you. Fuck you Muslims, You are terrorists, you are the ones who made the Boston explosion.

The tendency to associate crimes committed by one person with an entire community (ethnic or religious) is particularly harmful for people of color, and directly related to our next item:  white privilege.

9)    White privilege:

There had been so much speculation before the suspects were apprehended about their background and motivation.   The best of these reflections was:  “Please don’t let it be a Muslim.” 

 

White privilege

White privilege

Embedded in that discussion of course was a hierarchy of power, racism, and assumption of collective guilt.    To put it as bluntly as possible, when deranged killers are white (as Timothy McVeigh, as James Holmes the Colorado movie theater shooter  was, in fact as 44 out of the 62 mass murderers in America over the last few years have been white), white people do not have to issue collective statements that they are decent human beings. White people do not have to prove that they are Americans, and white people do not have to demonstrate that they are not inherently evil.   Why expect other people, in this case Muslims, to behave any different?

10) It’s not about Islam, or Chechnya.  It’s about America.

What happens now matters.  How we as a nation move forward is critical.    Do we turn our attention where it belongs, on comforting and healing the victims of Monday’s attacks, and do we allow a fair and legal process to bring charges against the captured suspect?

Do we turn into an angry mob accusing all Muslims of a crime that two men committed?
Do we turn this into an anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant hysteria?

Or, do we insist that we as a people are better than what we have been through?
Do we want to be heroes, like the ones that put their own lives on the line on Monday, and again in apprehending the suspects?
Or do we give in to unjustified bloodlust?

The basis of the American criminal system is that we evaluate people for what they do, not for who they are.    As one source put it, it’s about verbs, not adjectives.     Let’s keep it that way.      It’s about criminal actions, not their ethnicity or religion.

We have seen plenty of heroism these last few days, from the Boston police force and First Responders on Monday, to Uncle Ruslan’s humane and passionate response in seeing his own family members implicated in horrific crimes, to the work of the FBI in tracking down Dzhokhar without creating new victims.

Monday’s chapter was written.
Our response is yet to be written, and we are its authors.
Let us hope and pray that we are up to responding in a way that offers a beautiful reflection of our character.

I hope we remember the beautiful viral response from Patton Oswalt after Monday’s bombings.

“So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.”

I hope we remember the powerful singing of the national anthem after the Boston Bruins game.

I hope we remember Uncle Ruslan:

Uncle Ruslan Tsarni

Uncle Ruslan Tsarni

I teach my children.
This is the ideal micro-world in the entire world.
I respect this country.
I love this country.
This country which gives chance to everybody else to be treated as a human being and to just to be human being.
To feel yourself human being.”

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9999346/Boston-Marathon-bombing-Martin-Richards-family-ripped-apart-by-terror-attack.html

Richard Martin, 8-year old victim of Monday’s explosions

 

And I hope we remember Martin Richard, the beautiful 8-year old victim of Monday’s bombing:

No More Hurting People.  Peace.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

307 Comments

  1. This is the most informative and scholarly piece about the incident I have read! The given statistics and the info about the morbid political environment and media which nourishes with hatred are so striking. “Our response is yet to be written, and we are its authors.” Omid’s response is a good humane start to think about how we will recover as a society.

      • I do not agree. The death penalty is racist and expensive. On a less objective note, even the worst of sinners has to the end of his or her natural life to seek forgiveness and become good. This boy is only nineteen, and who’s to say he cannot accomplish this?

        No reason he can’t accomplish it in a supermax federal prison where they pipe in the daylight through a sieve, though. Just sayin’.

        • A legitimate and thoughtful response relative the possibility of ultimate salvation for the individual. I think the expense argument is problematic in a number of ways, including the fact that he could be in prison for seventy years. Regardless, trying to mete out punishment based on economic considerations is really a knotty problem.

          I back away from the “kid” argument since he was an honor student, on scholarship and he had lived in the United States for ten years and did not seem to be discriminated against, as far as I know at this point. (Those who murder but are mentally challenged get more leeway with me.)

          I travel to the Middle East often and under their legal system he would be beheaded quickly.

          Toss-up for many but his callous disregard for humanity causes me to side on the death penalty.

          • Who is “they,” Chris? In my Muslim (about 95% or more) majority country in the Middle East, death penalty is forbidden, unlike US. It is good that you have traveled, but do not generalize the diverse world is ‘the they,’ who behead others. P.S: Muslims living in the Middle East constitute a minority among all Muslims.
            On the other hand, I agree that he (and others, if there are,) have to be punished in the most severe way to deter any kind of terror & attack to innocent people. But I also don’t understand why you bring up this question at all: do you think that US Muslims will disagree with you on this clear point? Dont’ forget that the primary target of terrorists have mostly been ordinary Muslims. Al-Qaeda killed hundreds of innocent people in my Muslim majority country before 9/11. We all want terrorists punished. It would be better if US punished them before supporting against Russia and their own innocent people, right? Anyway: dont’ worry, we all will agree that they should be punished in the most severe way possible under US law. We want, and need, justice.

          • Sleepless, always willing to learn. If the “they” you mention refers to my “their” then yes, I could have been more specific, as I was thinking about KSA. Although, as I understand matters, only six or so relatively small Muslim countries do not have the death penalty (Turkey being the larger exception.) I also understood that all countries governed by Islamic law adhere to the death penalty in a judicial setting and by virtue of a “fatwa” a death sentence could be given by a religious edict in a non-judicial environment.

            For reference, what is your country?

            I am not sure if my “generalization” was incorrect if the statement you refer to is: a majority of Muslim and Islamic ruled countries adhere to the death penalty. Relative to beheading, other than KSA, I would be incorrect…I think.”

            I think something was omitted in this sentence: “It would be better if US punished them before supporting against Russia and their own innocent people, right?”

            90% of the people I work with in KSA travel often to the U.S. and many went to school here; Our differences are minor and similar to differences I have with anyone here.

            Anyway, peace-out.

    • Time passes and more is known about the Boston tragedy. Upon reading Omid’s article, I do not see it as particularly, “scholarly”. It is an opinion piece and that’s fine.

      Nevertheless, a point-by-point, review, based on today but my opinion.

      1. “Those who know the suspects best say that this had nothing to do with being Chechen or with Islam.” Quoting Ruslan seems weak since he admits he really has not had contact with them in years. Based on the present information available concerning his Mother’s thinking and a monitored call,
      their websites and their statements otherwise, to say that this had “nothing” to do with Islam or Chechen seems false.
      2. General knowledge by the U.S. populace concerning Chechen. So what?
      3. Power and Danger of social media. General concern, all-the-time, sad about Sunil but the actual degree of importance for this incident in the scheme of things seems de minimus? Four deceased and over two hundred injured.
      4. Religious conviction of the brothers. The older brother certainly now seems to have been devoted to Islam at some level and was even angered when MLK was used as an example to follow since he was not Muslim. Seems to me his strict or uneven adherence to Islamic credo is a Red Herring used as an excuse to remove Islam from the discussion.
      5. Alienation. I read Juan Cole’s thoughts and they seemed like an arm chair analysis by someone who never spoke to anybody directly in the family and certainly no professional therapist would render a real analysis without much more effort.
      6. Islam forbids terrorism. That’s not working.
      7. Political Opportunism. Yes: on all sides.
      8. Hates crimes. Bad, agree.
      9. White Privilege: terrifying rationalization, “why should Muslims behave differently?” See 6 and decide if more death and damage is what you want to implicitly encourage even if unintentionally.
      10. “It’s not about Islam or Chechen, its about America.” No, sorry, it is ultimately about all three. Patton’s quote is good but incomplete. Good people have to take action against evil or evil wins.

  2. This is a well-thought out summary of things that we should be considering when we look at where we go from here in the case of the Boston Bombings.. Omid Safi has done an excellent job of raising potential arguments for chastising all Arabs, Muslims, or people who fit a profile of these people, and then countering those arguments with reasonable explanations. I appreciate what he has set forth here! It’s much better than most of the punditry on this subject on tv.

    • Sadly, disaffected, angry and marginalized individuals everywhere, regardless of religion or ethnicity committ horrific crimes. To repeat above:Timothy McVeigh, the Columbine shooters, The Tucson Shooter, The Colorodo Shooter, The Newton Shooter. The Atlanta Olympic bomber. I think it would be wrong to condemn an entire religion. Extreme religious beliefs, outside the normal interpretation, create extremists: Waco, Ruby Ridge, The Westboro Baptists (granted they haven’t killed anyone, but they sure are filled with hate!) sigh…

      • Ok I don’t understand how you guys are saying that Islam doesn’t promote violence. Here are citations from the Quran. Please tell me your peaceful interpretations.

        Quran (2:191-193) – “And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution [of Muslims] is worse than slaughter [of non-believers]… but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah.” The historical context of this passage is not defensive warfare, since Muhammad and his Muslims had just relocated to Medina and were not under attack by their Meccan adversaries. In fact, the verses urge offensive warfare, in that Muslims are to drive Meccans out of their own city (which they later did). The use of the word “persecution” by some Muslim translators is thus disingenuous (the actual Muslim words for persecution – “idtihad” – and oppression – a variation of “z-l-m” – do not appear in the verse). The actual Arabic comes from “fitna” which can mean disbelief, or the disorder that results from unbelief or temptation. Taken as a whole, the context makes clear that violence is being authorized until “religion is for Allah” – ie. unbelievers desist in their unbelief.

        Quran (2:244) – “Then fight in the cause of Allah, and know that Allah Heareth and knoweth all things.”

        Quran (2:216) – “Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.” Not only does this verse establish that violence can be virtuous, but it also contradicts the myth that fighting is intended only in self-defense, since the audience was obviously not under attack at the time. From the Hadith, we know that this verse was narrated at a time that Muhammad was actually trying to motivate his people into raiding merchant caravans for loot.

        Quran (3:56) – “As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help.”

        Quran (3:151) – “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority”. This speaks directly of polytheists, yet it also includes Christians, since they believe in the Trinity (ie. what Muhammad incorrectly believed to be ‘joining companions to Allah’).

        Quran (4:74) – “Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.” The martyrs of Islam are unlike the early Christians, led meekly to the slaughter. These Muslims are killed in battle, as they attempt to inflict death and destruction for the cause of Allah. Here is the theological basis for today’s suicide bombers.

        Quran (4:76) – “Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah…”

        Quran (4:89) – “They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks.”

        Quran (4:95) – “Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). Unto all (in Faith) Hath Allah promised good: But those who strive and fight Hath He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward,-” This passage criticizes “peaceful” Muslims who do not join in the violence, letting them know that they are less worthy in Allah’s eyes. It also demolishes the modern myth that “Jihad” doesn’t mean holy war in the Quran, but rather a spiritual struggle. Not only is the Arabic word used in this passage, but it is clearly not referring to anything spiritual, since the physically disabled are given exemption. (The Hadith reveals the context of the passage to be in response to a blind man’s protest that he is unable to engage in Jihad and this is reflected in other translations of the verse).

        Quran (4:104) – “And be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain…” Is pursuing an injured and retreating enemy really an act of self-defense?

        • Bob,

          You are totally missing the point and taking either the position of an ignorant bigot or one of those love cult freaks who doesn’t believe in fighting at all. You have incorrectly framed the debate by assuming that Muslims agree that Islam is always a “religion of peace”. This is utter nonsense. Islam is always the religion FOR peace, but not always the “religion OF peace”. Sometimes that peace must be protected by fighting against persecution, oppression and the aggression of others. Such fighting is unavoidably violent, as all wars are, but that does not make it in any way wrong, as long as only the aggressors/combatants are targeted (i.e., never innocents) and only in proportion to how they have attacked, all of which Islam clearly mandates. Fighting for a truly just cause (as defined by Just War Theory) is not only universally accepted as 100% ethical by all countries, but it is usually considered obligatory on those who are able to fight when the fight comes to them. That is the same modern message of justice of Islam.

          I am not going to waste my time elaborating on how each one of these verses complies 100% with Just War Theory, since I have already done that many times over with others. Why don’t you pick your very best one or two examples of unjust violence being commanded anywhere in the Quran, from the above verses or elsewhere? I want to know you have some skin in the game first or whether you are just spouting hot air like so many other cowardly Islamophobes who run away with their tail between their legs as soon as they are challenged.

          I will then proceed to thoroughly embarrass your ignorant bigotry with the facts, unless of course you prefer to be embarrassed instead by acknowledging that you are one of those love cult freaks who will hand over his other children for slaughter after watching his first child be slaughtered rather than fight violently to protect those children (i.e., unconditional “peace” by your definition is nothing more than an absurd love cult fantasy). I will expose your bigotry by showing you that the verses in question unambiguously comply with Just War Theory, the most ethical modern standard of warfare on the planet. Wikipedia, among other independent sites, has a pretty good summary if you are not familiar with it. You have 48 hours to respond to my open challenge.

      • Really – so no Jews or Christians ever do murder in their own country? Really? No bombing in Christian or Jewish countries? Really? And nothing was ever done in the name of other religions in our history? Really? Did you go to school ever?

      • Truthyoudon'twanttodealwith

        Ramesh you really should come out of your cave more. The world really isn’t all black and white as you see it. There’s “color” and lots of it. Unfortunately, you can’t see past your own bigotry to realize that the religion is perfect but, not all Muslims are. Indeed, there is a difference!!

    • Andrew, if you had read the article you would have seen that while they were born Muslim, they were far from the teachings of Islam. I am a Muslim and it brings me a great deal of shame to think those who call themselves Muslim can even think about harming another. Islam prohibits verbal abuse. Physical abuse caused to oneself or any other is absolutely out of the question in Islam. Please do not blame my religion for the acts of non- Muslims. This was NOT a product of Islam.

      • Zaaar, people just do not get it!
        It is like saying saying the Catholic religion is responsible for priests molesting boys.
        No, it is the person who committed the act and knew it was wrong. The catholic religion may forbid sex for nuns and priests but at the end of the day they make the choice. I would much rather see a priest and a nun get it on than having little boys molested.
        I am not trying to get a catholic debate going; I am merely saying you can not blame religion!
        Look at Warren Jeff’s.. I don’t even want to go there.; but blaming Mormons for his act is just as stupid.
        People make choices, period! They can use their religion as a Shield all they want, but I promise you 20 virgin angels won’t be waiting for, terrorists, Warren Jeff’s or priests that molest people.
        If someone has a religion that encourages terrorism, especially when you live here, came here for a better life.. do I really need to finish this sentence?
        Are we really blaming religion?

    • With one and a half billion followers, mostly from impoverish countries, disenfranchised and we’re really going to bitch because a fraction of a percent wrongfully turn to terrorism?

      Funny, when I see urban violence which claims far more deaths here, it’s not uncommon to see a Christian cross around the necks of those standing accused.

      We’ll skip the role religion plays in violence globally, to just get to the point. All islamic terrorists in the entire world don’t speak for the religion and makes up a drop in swimming pool that is Islam. This isn’t a product of Islam, it’s a product of our inability to look at our problems and fix them. It’s a product of our need to point fingers and assign blame rather than move forward.

      These kids blamed America for something, and now you in turn, move a blame Islam for something. Hypocrite.

        • From James’s comment, I took away “there’s enough blame to go around for all creeds”. You know, the bit about letting he who is without sin cast the first stone, and all that like-kind stuff that the Christian Bible teaches? I’m sick of the knee-jerk reaction that ties all that’s evil in the world to Muslims. Christians have been victimizers as well as victims. Same can be said of nearly every race, creed and philosophical or political belief. In whose name are we killing the Muslim children right now? I also remember very well, during the Vietnam era, soldiers being taught to “kill a commie for Christ”, as well as some disgusting chants to “rape, pillage and burn” the Vietnamese.

    • Truthyoudon'twanttodealwith

      Not Islam, do not convict Islam or Muslims!!! This was an act of two individuals who “say” they are Muslim. This is not Islam or the behavior of Muslims!!! Funny how 3 white men (in the military) can go around beating black men on the streets and saying, “you’re the reason we had to go to Afghanistan” and leaving them dying in their own blood. Yet it gets no media attention! But, every time there is anything remotely mentioned of a
      bomb, terrorism or heinous crimes people will always equate “terror” and “terrorism” with Islam! While the real terrorist run away scott free laughing and unpunished!

  3. Let’s Use Some of This Sadness To Help Prevent More Killing At Home & Abroad!

    During the past few days many of us have been glued to our tv sets, computers, or smart phones in order to watch the ongoing drama of the dastardly act of the exploding of two highly powerful, home-made bombs in the midst of a large concentration of people at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, and the subsequent investigation and tracking down of the suspected killers. Because we have been allowed by our government to see the actual injuries and deaths that these murderous individuals have caused, unlike the results of our bombings in other countries, we have felt the grief of the victims and their relatives and close friends, and want to do everything we can to keep it from happening again.

    If anything, this horrific attack on innocent people at the Boston Marathon should raise our consciousness about the type of daily killing, in our name, that our government engages in, regularly, around the world, and in particular in Pakistan and Afghanistan, today. We can’t imagine what it is like to hear drones overhead twenty four hours a day and know that they could strike at any moment just because you behave in a certain way. As S. Brian Willson who is a Viet Nam veteran and peace activist writes, ”We are not worth more. They are not worth less.”

    The Boston Bombing should remind us of this violence that the US inflicts every day in other parts of the world, and which we are now doing by remote control from Arizona. We do this by “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, a fancy name for drones, without risking one single life on our part, but risking the lives of many thousands of innocent people who happen to live near places where our purported enemies are located.

    Make no mistake about it, there are serious reasons why we have engaged in battle in the countries of Iraq and Afghanistan, recently, and not in a country like Ruanda where millions were killing each other just a few short years ago. Many of those we have killed live in countries that have failed to follow the dictates of our multi-national corporations who would like to capture the remnants of ancient sunlight that representatives of these companies have found buried beneath those countries’ soil.

    We hope that, rather than turning to nationalism as we did in 2001, and commission our mighty forces to take our revenge out on the Chechnian people with a “shock and awe demonstration,” instead, that we treat this recent horrendous act in Boston as the crime that it is, and try in our courts the perpetrator that we have managed to capture alive , and punish him, accordingly, if and when he is found guilty. By treating of this dastardly act of violence in this way, we will demonstrate a much deeper understanding of what others experience at the hands of the United States. Let us take some of this sadness and use it to spur us to prevent more killing at home and abroad.

      • So, you think that the world should hold America blameless for going where it is not invited, fighting wars for profit and whatever other cockeyed motive GWB had? Do you ascribe to the necessity of collateral damage killing children and other innocents for oil? Iraq was supposed to “pay for itself” with our new found friends giving us access to their oil.

        I travel a lot, and I have friends all over the world. Real friends, personal friends, not internet friends. Fortunately, my friends have been raised to not blame individuals for what the government does in our names. You might be shocked at how some of the world views America’s agenda in the middle east.

        • I have friends, too, Patt304. But that is not the point. I wonder why you appear to compliment those who refuse to blame individuals for what the government does, immediately after a mini-tirade about evil America. Do you see the contradiction? I, as an American, take offense in your apparent blaming of me for the offenses you name.

          • Uh, no, I don’t see the contradiction. The American government has been working against the wishes of American people ever since President Obama was elected. When some of the Republicans assembled on the very night of the first inauguration of President Obama, and when they took a pledge at that assembly to prevent Obama from passing anything on his agenda, they opted to not give a damn about what the American people wanted. That, to me, is treason. But, like Bush, we have let these people get away with their treason. When you have a minority party who is willing to take down the entire country rather than have our President that we elected succeed at anything, they do not represent us. When 80%-90% of we the people want background checks for gun purchases, and it is defeated, this government does not speak for we the people. I applaud those who can recognize what many Americans choose to not recognize: our government does not speak for us, does not work for us, and does not represent us.

          • I said that I have friends from all over the world. Not simply that I have friends. The meaning you did not grasp is that people in other parts of the world have views that do not necessarily duplicate our views. Knowing people outside your comfort zone tends to expose you to new ideas, and sometimes a rude awakening. Try it sometime.

    • While I disagree with the tone of your comments, which seem unnecessarily hostile toward America (blaming the victim for the crime?), I do agree wholeheartedly with one point. That point is that we should treat criminal acts as criminal acts. This was two individuals who committed murder. Treat them as the criminals they are, let the legal system work, and stop blaming other people who are not to blame – whether they are American or Chechen or anyone else who did NOT set off a bomb in a crowd of innocents.

  4. Comment marked as low quality by the editors. Show comment

    Free speech only makes you a target Here is hoping that you never have a problem because if you were not on the radar before you can bet your (whatever) that you are now

  5. Comment marked as low quality by the editors. Show comment

    I find it odd that you confuse being white with being Muslim. People don’t choose what color they are born. People DO choose what religion they embrace. Saying their Islamic faith did not motivate them is beyond ludicrous. You said 44 of the past 62 mass murders in the U.S. have been done by white people, how many of the past 62 were done by Christians for their Christian religion and how many of the past 62 were carried out by Muslims for their (in their own words) Muslim faith? I challenge you to post the names of all the people killed in America by Muslims acting out their Muslim faith vs. a list of all the people killed in America by Christians acting out their Christian faith.

    Remember Maj. Nidal Hassan? Why did he shout “Allahu Akbar” before he opened fire at Fort Hood? According to NPR, “…while presenting what was supposed to be a medical lecture to other psychiatrists, Hasan talked about Islam, and said that, according to the Koran, non-believers would be sent to hell, decapitated, set on fire, and have burning oil poured down their throats…” He also justified A Muslim psychiatrist in the audience raised his hand, and challenged Hasan’s claims

    What about the underwear bomber? Here’s what he had to say at trial, “I attempted to use an explosive device which in the U.S. law is a weapon of mass destruction, which I call a blessed weapon to save the lives of innocent Muslims, for U.S. use of weapons of mass destruction on Muslim populations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and beyond…If you laugh at us now, we will laugh at you later.” Additionally, he said, “I was greatly inspired to participate in jihad by the lectures of the great and rightly guided mujahedeen who is alive, Sheik Anwar al-Awlaki, may Allah preserve him and his family and give them victory.”

    What about Ramzi Yousef or Kahlid Sheihk Mohammed? There were 2,996 Americans killed by Islamic terror on 911. How many Muslim Americans killed in revenge? Just this year there have been 4 incidences of Mulsim terror in the U.S. from Ohio to New Jersey to Boston. You can say it is radicalized Islam all you want, but it is still Islam.

    • The point isn’t that atrocities are done in the name of one faith or another, it is that the actual teachings of these faiths forbid such acts. How many lives were lost in the Crusades, the Salem Witch Trials, the Inquisition, etc. all in the name of God? God who said in one of his top ten rules, “Thou shalt not kill.” People are governed by emotion, rarely by reason. Those emotions drive them to only take from their faiths what proves their actions right, ignoring all else, especially anything that proves their actions wrong.

      • @ Ramesh. 85% of the Indians remained Hindu, after one thousand years of Muslim rule in India. So, the comment about non Muslim minorities being converted to Islam by the sword does not hold up.

        “I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place in Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous regard for his pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and his own mission.” (M.K Gandhi, India’s father of the nation).

        “Power was not a factor in the spread of Islam; that’s because Arabs left the people they vanquished free to practice their own religion.” (Gustaf Lobon, French historian).

        “Accusing Muslims of relying on the sword for people to respond to their faith preaching is incomprehensible nonsense!”(Thomas Carlyle, Scottish Philosopher)

        • Gee, here’s what one of the most influential Indian Muslim leaders said about Ghandi at the time., Mohammed Ali said, “However pure Mr. Gandhi’s character may be, he must appear to me, from the point of religion, inferior to any Mussalman even though he be without character.” In 1925 he reiterated, “Yes, according to my religion and creed, I do hold an adulterous and a fallen Mussalman to be better than Mr. Gandhi”.

          • Good reference, Jeff. But you can find similar quotations from Jews (they had -and some still have- an ontological superiority argument), Christians (e.g. see Pastor Robert Jeffres: http://omidsafi.religionnews.com/2013/02/16/an-open-letter-to-tim-tebow-about-gods-love-and-associating-with-hateful-christians/), Hindus, Buddhists and many others, of course. We, people from different faith groups, have the responsibility to stand against all of these bigots. I condemn Mohammed Ali for his bigotry, and please stand with me against all others who discriminate and dehumanize people on similar basis. If you tar everybody with the same brush, you will promote these bigots. Don’t do that, stand with me. You will find the majority of people from other faiths to cooperate with you. Peace and grace.

        • Celestial Intellectual

          At the advent of Zionism, Israel was 5% indigenous Mizrahic Jews in the 1880s before a single European Jew set foot in Israel. You’re saying this population of 5,000 wasn’t exterminated down to such a small number by the GENETICALLY PROVEN Muslim Arabs colonists who now call themselves so-called “Palestinians” in the 1517, 1660s, 1830s, and 1840s genocides in Safed, Hebron, Jerusalem, and Hebron?

          Anybody reading this comment start with the 1834 Safed Program. The Muslim lies that have covered up mass genocide and colonization from the Southern Arabian Peninsula are being exposed.

        • Bernardo Stevens

          It doesn’t have to “hold up”. It’s historical fact. And it’s estimated that some 800 million Hindu Indians were killed (over 800 years of invasions) by the Muslim armies.

      • The fact is that many ‘faiths’ do condone killing of the other; the rules against killing are usually woven into the legal system that is meant to operate as a regulator of members of the group. Those outside the group get different rules. This is the way it is for most human groups. I think you need to be a little more realistic here.

      • I don’t believe that is a correct translation; thou shalt not kill. I believe it is, thou shalt not do murder, which is quite another thing. Killing is a thing you do in war. Murder is what you do in peace. In war you have no expectation of living. In peace you have no expectation of death.

        A battle may be won by emotion, but the war is more likely to be won by calculation. Faith may be the excuse, but it is never the reason.

      • Celestial Intellectual

        Funny, the victims of the Crusades were primarily Jewish. There was not a Muslim Arab population in the time of the Crusades in the Levant. The Crusaders were replaced the Muslims as occupiers. It wasn’t until much later in the late 18th century (1700s) that Muslim Arab tribes began settling in Israel from the Southern Arabian Peninsula to form the beginnings of the so-called “Palestinians” as proven by genetics. ANOTHER Muslim lie debunked “Centuries of a Muslim Arab Palestine.”

      • Celestial Intellectual

        Funny how it wasn’t a Crusade when the Muslim armies conquered the Levant from the Byzantines and massacred the populations there….

      • Alexius was looking for a few mercenaries to help put down border skirmishes. He got the First Crusade, which he did NOT want. And then there was the Fourth Crusade, from which the Byzantine Empire never recovered.

        As far as conversion by the sword, initially the Muslim regimes in conquered territories did not want the locals to convert because, as dhimmi, they were paying a head tax. The Muslim overlords wanted the money. Who doesn’t?

        For more about Byzantine Empire, the Crusades, and the Muslim invasion, visit Byzantium Novum at http://www.byzantiumnovum.org/

      • Actually, relatively few lives were lost in the Crusades, the Salem Witch Trials and the Inquisition. While these were carried out in the name of God, there was no justification for them in the Christian sacred texts. TGens of millions of lives were lost in the Moslem wars against Christians, Persians, Hindus and pagans.
        And, God did NOT say “Thou shalt not kill” in the Ten Commandments. He said: “Thou shalt not murder”. There is a big difference between the two.
        In Islam, the Koran is filled with commandments directly from Allah to make war against non-Moslems because of belief. Muhammad said the same thing. There is nothing like those commands in any other religion to make war against unbelievers.

      • “Those emotions drive them to only take from their faiths what proves their actions right…”

        But this implies that religions do in fact contain ideas that justify atrocities. Yet you previously state that the “actual teachings of these faiths forbid such acts”. So which is it?

        • Almost all religions do. Almost all ideologies of any length do. That’s why war and terrorism aren’t unknown in Communist regimes. This isn’t an Islam-is-bad thing. This isn’t a religion-is-bad thing. It is a human problem.

          This kid was an American. Treat him like Oklahoma City guy. Try him. Then forget he ever lived.

          • Have you studied “almost all religions”??? Are you an expert in “almost all ideologies”???
            Stop belittling the horror this Moslem committed by calling him a “kid” and an “American”. He was granted American citizenship a few months ago, but he was not an American in any other sense.
            Why have you taken upon yourself the disgraceful task of defending Islamic terror from criticism??????

          • I’m calling him a kid because he’s nineteen.

            Hey, what religion was the guy who did the Oklahoma City bombing? Ooooh, no one remembers or cares. That’s because a criminal’s religion doesn’t always have anything to do with his crimes. Just because this boy and his brother walked past a mosque at some point doesn’t mean that these bombings have anything to do with Islam in general or religion in general.

            He’s an immigrant who gained citizenship, and that makes him American by the law. This isn’t the time to be vilifying foreigners. The crime was not committed by foreigners.

            Remember Leopold and Loeb? The judge and jury figured that little Leopold had been manipulated and controlled by the much stronger personality Loeb. That’s probably what happened here with these two brothers. But that didn’t get Leopold off the hook. He did thirty years in prison. After he was released, he lived quietly as an honest man. That’s the best this bomber should hope for: To man up, take his punishment and hope to be forgotten.

          • 1) A 19-year old is not a “kid”. He is entitled to vote, sign contracts and enlist in the military. Except for buying alcohol, he is an adult. Why do you belittle this murderer?
            2) McVeigh, the guy who did the Oklahoma bombing was an atheist. He was born into a Catholic family, but he renounced Catholicism while in high school
            3) The surving Moslem murderer is not a “boy”. He is a legally responsible adult.
            4) Neither of the two Moslem murderers “walked by” a mosque. You are a liar. They often went to the mosque as religious Moslems.
            5) Nobody is vilifying him because he is a foreigner. You are lying about that, too. We are vilifying him because he murdered and maimed innocent people. Why can’t you understand that?
            6) Leopold and Loeb have nothing to do with the present case. We are dealing with yet another act of murder by religious Moslems in the name of islam.

          • If your purpose is to trash a religion, could you at least learn how to spell the name of that religion? Disrespect like this, coupled with the “war on Islam” is creating enemies faster than we can kill them.

      • “the actual teachings of these faiths”?

        “These faiths” of which you speak must be Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Bahaiism, and others — but would certainly NOT include Islam, whose adherents are COMMANDED to kill non-Muslims (also, to lie, cheat, steal, rape, and enslave IF it will “advance the cause of Islam”).

    • When people have twisted minds, they will find some way to justify their criminal actions. Unfortunately, these days, it is religion. Now would it be odd to confuse being White and being Arab? Those are both ethnic backgrounds that we are born with yet are seen differently. A majority of Arabs are not even Muslims, but when a person simply “looks” like an Arab, they get beaten and harassed. Muslims may say that they commit horrendous actions in the name of their religion, but the problem is they have a twisted idea of their religion. They have created a religion of their own and associating such actions with true Islam and treating the whole Muslim community differently would be simply falling into their hands. I do not believe the Boston incident was a Muslim terror in the U.S. With the information we have so far on the suspects, it does not show they we practicing Muslims or were influence by Islam to commit their actions. People will look at this incident and simply say “They were Muslims” but not ALL Muslims are the same just like not all Christians are the same. We must look at the BIG picture before we make such generalizations. Also, what Maj. Nidal Hassan said about Islam and what was in the Koran is absolutely WRONG! Even if he did shout “Allahu Akbar.” This is not what God wants or ordered for anyone to do. Look at Anders Breivik, a white-wing extremist, who killed 77 people in a bombing and a shooting rampage in Oslo and on Utoya Island. Or the KKK, whose goal was to “reestablish Protestant Christian values in America by any means possible.” This is radicalized Christianity, but it is still Christianity. The idea here is that yes, twisted individuals will find a way to justify their actions using religion, whether they expose it or not. We will not always know the true intent of a person’s actions. However, it is how we respond to such criminal actions. Do we act un-American and judge people/religions by the actions of a few people or do we come together, as Americans, to not fall into the hands of our enemies and help one another. You decide. Peace.

    • steve american muslim

      I challenge u to learn more about Islam and the Quran understand the word “Islam” means peace and never allows the killing of innocent civilians and everyone is born a muslim so we are all considered brothers and sisters we do believe in adam and eve u are very uninformed Jeff and shouldn’t keep so much hate for a certain religion the world is a big place and there are Muslims in every country in the world you do not know about the terror and persecution that goes on towards Muslims in Palestine, Syria, Chechnya, Pakistan, and the rest of the world this is why every country looks at our country (which I love as a second generation american and proud to be ) as ignorant people that don’t know whats going on outside of our circle read the Quran before u start assuming (we both know what happens when we ass-u-me) if the shoe was on the other foot I would read up on the facts and actual book to believed to be sent down from god before passing judgement on it . Especially if your religion was being viewed as the complete opposite of its intention and happened to be the fastest growing religion in the world not country but world! I wish you the best Jeff and hope you except my challenge because you need to get your facts straight. The facts about Islam are easy to find straight from the Quran and you will find its translated in every language. Jeff as a Muslim is suppose to say after talking to some one else salam alakum which translates to peace be upon you.

      • Hey, I do not hate Muslims. Had my first experience with Muslims in 1976 in college. Had a couple of friends who were from Iran. Syria is Muslim. The hatred there is Muslim vs. Muslim. Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Egypt, Iraq…..Name any Muslim country and you will see Muslims killing Muslims and Muslims killing anybody not Muslim. In any country that is majority Muslim you see Christians being killed. The Coptic Christians were in Egypt centuries before Islam was a religion and they are being killed by Muslims. The new Egyptian government looks on approvingly. When is the last time you saw anyone in the name of Christianity flying airplanes into buildings?

        • Ey look att usa today
          Simply with a few words usa has been in irak palestine afghanistan lebanon….ex can you imagine or do we muslims attacked or have been an occupier such as usa not even ONCE!!
          Always usa occupied irak or lebanon or afghanistan or or or ….ex
          Fk that man plz the truth all this is bllshit we are not even able to kill any one who doesnt war against you and not even whole usa cuz there are many who likes us and who knews the truth
          Usa has occupied more than 10 land
          Muslims have never occupied a land even look att the different
          Shame when i see the truth and i speak against it!!!

          • North Africa, Spain, Palestine, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Balkans, Asia Minor…shall I go on and list the other places Muslims have conquered and occupied. I mean, if you really want to get absurd then there is no limit to where this conversation can go.

            And by the way, I agree that the US should stop bombing and occupying anyone and everyone. That was the only thing you said that made sense – and it was a good and sensible point.

          • Absolutely Kiran Bindu ! You are spot on. The rest are blind to the true intent of those enslaved by allah. How do you believe a culture or religion that calls lying a virtue? No doubt there are mis-guided radicals of every race, color, creed, religion and nation … however, one’s world view is extremely important. As the Bible states, ” As a man thinks, so he is.” Should we wonder that a religion that encourages radicalism, that preaches death to anyone, red, yellow, black or white, green or blue … straight, gay, religious, intellectual, male or female who dares to speak, think or dress outside of a narrow line, should produce violent cultures, cultures of death and destruction? Just look at the middle east. Look at the deprivation of its people and the lack of civility…the lack of compassion and forgiveness. When one considers all the “ethnic cleansing” and genocide of certain parts of the world, it seems like Islam is indeed a culture of terror and violence. I don’t know much about the Hindu religion, but I do know it is a peaceful, tolerant religion that generally teaches compassion for others. And while there are people who do horrible things in the name of religion, basic Christianity is also a peaceful religion. In the words of Jesus, the whole basis of the law is “Love they neighbor as yourself and love the Lord Your God with your whole heart.” The greatest spiritual gift according to the Bible, is love, i.e. “love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud or self-seeking, but endures all things … love never fails.” The striking thing about Christianity is that it preaches a Savior who hung on the cross as a man and said, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do,” reconciling those who were his enemies, enemies of God, to God. Those were His parting words to God, the Father, his message to mankind, to those who beat him without mercy and hung him on a cross. How do you humanly love your enemies and bless those who persecute you? As a human being, I do not understand it, and my human heart wants justice, retaliation, but in my heart I know God’s response to us on the cross is the only thing that is right. Sometimes my human response comes out much easier than the supernatural response that I know should follow. None-the-less, I much prefer a religion of love to one of hate, a culture of life rather than one of death. What I love about the true followers of Christ is that there is no division based on race, wealth, status, gender, culture or country … believers are one in spirit and truth… true equality in Christ. The truth sets all men free. It was the bed-rock of what America was founded on. And while America has had her struggles and white supremists who acted in hate, it was never what Christianity was about. Slavery was a blot on America, but white and black America, i.e. those who recognized the truth of scripture and what was right before God did free its slaves, slaves that had been originally captured by the Ishmalites and shipped to America. Slavery has been an evil in the world from the beginning of time and it still exists today in many parts of the world. While most religions have “duties” and believers can and do act out of guilt or are compelled to adhere to a strict set of rules, the Christian is under no obligation, but gives generously to the poor, takes care of the widows, the sick, the lame and shows mercy and hospitality to others because it is in his or her heart … because he has been set free to love others as himself by a God of love. It is why the American culture generally has what we call the golden rule, “Do onto others as you would do unto yourself.” It is not forced, but something done willingly because of what Jesus did for us. There is no one, not even one, who is not guilty before God. We recognize our sinful, human nature and the debt we can never pay. But praise be to God, the Almighty King of the universe, who paid our debt with his own blood. We are eternally and supernaturally grateful. And because God showed mercy to us, we who are by nature sinful, evil and undeserving of his grace, we have a responsibility to show His mercy and kindness to others, to share the grace he gave us when He forgave our debt, to others. My prayer is for those misguided and well meaning liberals and Muslims to come to realize that there is no God like Jehovah. I pray that for my Hindu friends as well, because God’s love is so utterly amazing that I want all men to experience the joy of being in Christ. This world, for all its evil, also shows the handprint of the creator in all that is good. The goodness of God is demonstrated in those acts of selflessness, those acts of heroism when men do not think of their own lives, but put their lives on the line to help others … like the brave firemen who rushed into the World Trade Center and the citizens at the Boston Marathon who didn’t flea danger, but stopped to help the injured. As a former atheist who came to realize the error of my thinking by the grace of God, I pray that some day the author of this article will come to know the Truth and that the Truth will set him free.

          • Not to mention Japan, Germany, Austria, Korea, and Italy. The British are worse. They occupied and owned the World.

            As for attack or occupy, there is that little matter of Jordan attacking and occupying the Palestinian land of the West Bank and the International City of Jerusalem, annexing it, and making it part of Jordan instead of making it the State of Palestine. Unless Jordanians are not Muslims; perhaps they are Christians or Jews. Maybe they are Hindus.

            Shamefully, it wasn’t until the Jews won the West Bank an Jerusalem, that the Palestinians had any chance of having a State of their own. Every time they get close, foreign Arabs, like those who rejected the UN’s offer of a Palestinian State in the first place, pressure them to ask for unobtainable pre-conditions. It wasn’t Palestinian Arabs who threatened to put the Jews into the sea; it was the foreign ones, and look what they have done.

      • I blame:
        - The two being lost in life and blaming everyone instead of taking responsibility.
        - no regard for human life
        - mentally disturbbed
        - as the uncle said “losers”
        - evil, then two are evil

        I do not blame religion.

      • Bernardo Stevens

        You’re a liar. Islam forbids killing innocents….but only believers are deemed “innocent”. Mohammad himself killed many with his own hand. Led bloody raids to steal treasure. And personally gave the order to kill and rape hundreds more.

        http://www.wikiislam.net/wiki/List_of_Killings_Ordered_or_Supported_by_Muhammad

        • Please Steven, all the info that provided in the link is not true at all… please follow this link and found out the true by yourself :

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GybsFakv7U

          • Please follow this link to find out the truth about Islam:
            www.thereligionofpeace.com

  6. People have to blame some body or something other than the actual people these days. I think you missed this very important part of it. People have stopped believing in Evil is what I see as the biggest problem. Now it is a gun or a religion or anything else but evil has left the conversation. I also disagree with you in your comments about whites don’t have to defend them selves are you kidding there is so much white self loathing these day it is getting out of hand and since these last few acts of violence we have been defending our right to bare arms every day since. Nobody cared about gun control until a white person killed a bunch of kids. What about the countless deaths of other cultures in this country before that that were committed by other races. Nobody cared then.

    • You can have bare arms simply by not wearing a shirt. Oh, you mean “bear” arms… If you’re going to simplify all human behavior into ‘good’ and ‘evil’ you need to pay more attention to your use of grammar and punctuation or no one will take you seriously. Actually, no one will take you seriously anyway…

      • Max, I don’t know your history just as you don’t know David’s. What if English isn’t his first language. What if he just learned it a few years ago and decided to post here for the first time. Don’t be a pretentious ass.

    • actually, nobody cared about gun control until a bunch of white kids were killed. what about the high numbers of kids of color killed every single day in say philly?

      • When the Italian kids in my neighborhood were killing each other over drugs in the 1970s, the newspapers were silent and no intellectuals from the universities steeped in to write articles about alienation and social context, lack of opportunity or gun control. Italians are white. So Michelle, you live in an academic bubble. And are you serious? People have been calling for gun control for a long time. And finally, what does this have to do with the events in Boston?

        • Ahem. Throughout much of the 20th century and before, Italians (and even Irish) were viewed as “non-white.” American society in previous eras had stricter criteria to determine who was a “true” white/Caucasian — for the most part, one who was of predominately Anglo-Saxon, Protestant origin. Please don’t even attempt to apply contemporary standards to previous generations. You end up failing miserably.

          [The irony of it all is that today, many middle-class Italians have become very much as bigoted as those who harassed and oppressed their ancestors. Even funnier, Irish Americans have the gall to bitch about terrorism when not that long ago, Irish-American groups were openly supporting the terrorist IRA who wreaked havoc in Britain for decades.]

          • Sorry, Roy, but you are wrong. Italians were not viewed as non-White. I was always viewed as white and thought of myself as white, and so did my parents and grandparents (and read John Gennari’s White on Arrival). But being white didn’t make us rich or not subject to prejudice, nor did it make my friends impervious to bullets or overdose. And name me one group of people who are not bigoted or who were not victims and then became victimizers. I got your point, and appreciate it, but you are accepting a white studies claim that is totally wrong and for all the wrong reasons.,

          • Nick, I can vouch for the fact that many people viewed Italians as non-white. My father most surely did. I had a “thing” for dark-haired, brown-eyed Italian men… well, boys as we were still in high school. I would never repeat what my father had to say about that, nor would I ever repeat the names that Italians were commonly called by my peers, and their parents.

            Perhaps the Italians did not view themselves as “non-white” but the WASP’s sure did view them that way.

      • I didn’t know anything about those children who were murdered when I first heard about it. I live in San Francisco so the name of the town didn’t mean anything to me. The fact that children were murdered was what I knew, and that was horrific. It was on TV because children were the target. In L.A., if it is a police chase on city streets it leads the evening news.

        Here, we get constant coverage of children and young people being killed in Oakland across the Bay. We are trying to figure out how to stop it, but when kids who aren’t in gangs, don’t wear expensive shoes, and never get into fights get shot on purpose, how can you figure that out? The police are panicked and shoot to fast, and are short handed which doesn’t help.

        We have made some headway with gangs in San Francisco, but it takes more and more effort. Black kids have the least chance, so need the most encouragement.

      • Please don’t say that. Kids of all colors, race and what have you are killed everyday. It was the act how it happened that brought the attention that should has been addressed before and rejected by our senators who claim to care!
        So, please thank our senators for not passing ban or even be willing to reason. I am for our rights to have guns, but having war weapons or weapons that you can’t even use on shooting ranges makes no sense that one should have one. At least do better background/mental health checks. Something!! The NRA is so corrupt. Ugh..
        Back to SandyHook; A disturbed young man was able to walk in a school bypassing security and kill. Had it happened at a school that it was prodomintley black, there would still be the same outrage.
        If anything, I am surprised you have not learned that violence happens everywhere. In the 90′s when gangs reached ultimate high and black men were killing their selves; the issue was brought up, but…Once again, the NRA had to bribe.. I blame the NRA not giving a damn about the seriousness of mental Health and only care about lining their pockets. If you think for one minute that the NRA does not bribe; think again! No one is trying to take rights away; for those of you who may think that is the case. until it happens to someone or dare I say your child, you will be surprised how your mind will change.
        Not to sound like a hypocrite; instead of trying to keep score on who it happens to most; we need to work together to have it stop.
        FYI: there were black students that died during SandyHook massacres as well.

        • Donald Kosloff

          You should replace some of your blind, irrational hatred of the NRA with some actual knowledge. Over the past several years, as the number of firearms substantially increased in the US, the number of homicides decreased substantially. Also, as NRA firearms safety training increased, the number of accidental shooting decreased substantially

          • Mari Robinson

            I agree with many others that the NRA is ultimately a trade association for gun manufacturers with a primary intent to assure their continued sales/profits. 90 percent of us want universal gun checks and the NRA doesn’t, so clearly the NRA does not act in the public interest. Also, homicides have not decreased due to an increase in guns, rather our medical system is keeping more people alive that formerly died from gun wounds… in other words, just as much gun violence, but better medical care. Finally, NRA firearms safety training is laudable, but it is just voluntary and only one of many other contributors to decreases in accidental gun shootings. The biggest contributor is likely the 50-year decrease in the percentage of American households owning guns. (While there are more guns than ever out there, they are owned by fewer and fewer people and less and less by young people.) Gun buy back programs are also starting to get more guns off the streets. The NRA has reason to be so hard line…their product is becoming as popular as cigarettes. They are fighting for their bottom line.

          • Blind hatred of the NRA? Irrational? They are the lobbying arm of the gun industry. Only a fool would think differently. As for firearm sales increasing (thanks to the NRA), and homicides decreasing: firstly, I would like to see the stats that say homicides are decreasing. Secondly, I’d like you to take a look at where the homicides are decreasing, you will see that happening in states with the toughest gun laws, and it helps if their nearby states also have tough gun laws. That is the key to the success in NYC for example vs. the failure in Chicago where 20 minutes away have non-existent laws against guns. Additionally, the increase in firearms sales are attributed to gun owners stockpiling, it is not new gun owners coming into your fold.

            While you’re doing your homework, also take a look at accidental shooting, suicides and child death due to gun carelessness.

      • Bernardo Stevens

        What about it? The reason it doesn’t get much press is that they don’t want to emphasize the truth….that half the murders in the USA are committed by 1% of the population. That would be black males 14-24.

      • Donald Kosloff

        Michelle,
        You are either astoundingly ignorant or a really stupid liar. Which is it? For decades, many white people and organizations in the US have been working to increase the number and force of “gun control” laws in the US. I know that from personal experience because I was an active supporter of such laws from 1964 until 1994. As a result we have tens of thousands of “gun control” laws. Of course, if you were actually interested in facts, you could go back even farther in history and discover that the earliest “gun control” laws were passed during the Civil War Reconstruction era to prevent black folk from having guns. But don’t fret, your ignorance or dishonesty is quite common among “gun control” nuts.

        • Technically, they were passed right AFTER the Reconstruction, when control of the former rebel states was passed back to locals. The precise date of this varied from state to state.

    • The thing about white privilege is that you have it whether you see it or not… That’s part of the privilege. I dispute that “white self-loathing” exists. White guilt exists, but it’s simply another flavor of privilege.

      • Donald Kosloff

        The real thing about so-called “white privilege” is that the whole concept is BS. For example, you might want to explain the “white privilege” enjoyed by the orphans of white Union soldiers who died in the Civil War freeing the slaves. Also, you might want to expound on the “white privilege” of white victims of crimes committed by people of color. In addition, you might wish to explain how white basketball players benefit from racial quotas enforced by the NBA. But, more important, you should consider what might be done to correct the flaws in your ability to think rationally.

  7. May Allah bless the souls who have been lost by this senseless killing any type of killing any where in the world is not right, it is not been evil or been good, or my side or their side.

  8. It may very well have to do with the brothers being radical Muslims. The terrorist’s twitter account, confirmed by his friends, @J_tsar, has him making 9/11 jokes and one of his last tweets says, “and they [say] what “god hates dead people?” Or victims of tragedies? Lol those people are cooked”

    So, religion may very well have played into things.

    • Did you read the article? Nothing in the statement you are referring to says a word about being Muslim or doing anything for Allah. In fact he uses the word ‘god’. He’s a terrorist. period! You seem to have missed the entire point in your rush to blame Muslims for being Muslim. SMH

  9. Just to name a few: KKK was created by a christian group, Breivik, committed the 2011 norway attack under name of Christianity. Americans kill innocent civilians everyday in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq. More than 6 millions have been killed so far by Americans alone in those regions. It is very easy to misuse religion to justify your acts. People who likes to commit in killing innocent lives are always searching for justifications, though it would be a false one. Americans justification in killings Afghans is 9/11. But if you truly do your research and education, Afghanistan had nothing to do with it and neither those innocent Afghans. Blaming a faith for the actions of some criminal is merely a naive thinking process of few who are not aware of their surrounding and what is really going on in this world.

    • Maryam
      I actually agree with much of what you are saying. But if you’re going lend credibility to the assertion that the author of this article is making that Islam is not accountable for the actions of Tsarnaev because he did not fit the model of the pious Muslim then you cannot Christianity accountable for the atrocities committed by Anders Brevik or the KKK. Breivik admitted that he was not so much a confessing Christian but a cultural Christian who had pretty much disasocciated himself from the church, And the KKK is connected to the the Christian Identity movement, which bears no resemblance to real Christianity beyond the name.

      • Hi Steve,”… one cannot Christianity accountable for the atrocities committed by Anders Brevik or the KKK. ..” I wholeheartedly agree! This is exactly the point I am trying to make that you cannot held any faith accountable for crimes some crazy nut commits.

      • Here’s the problem with your assertion. The KKK very much uses Biblical scripture as a foundation for their racist belief system (as did Nazi Germany) and religious fervor is on full display when going upon a good ole fashioned lynching of “mongrels” or harassing Jews or (non-white) immigrants. While they certainly cherry-picked bits and pieces from the Bible they agreed with while dispersing those they did not (as is the case with all other Christian denominations and sects), to state that they “bore no resemblance to ‘real’ Christianity (whatever that is)” is complete, utter nonsense.

        As far as Breivik is concerned, granted, there’s no indication that he, himself, was “Biblically inspired.” Rather, his motives were born purely out of hatred for other religious groups who he deemed as “enemies of the traditional Judeo-Christian order” of Western civilization. He was really a hardcore nationalist who saw himself as RESISTING a particular religion as opposed to a religious crackpot fighting ON BEHALF of faith. Still, religion (or, in this instance, hatred/fear of religion) was very much a motivating factor in Breivik’s atrocity.

        In conclusion, it may not be right to hold all of Christianity accountable but then again, mainstream society never truly did. To this day, Christianity & Judaism regularly get a pass whenever one of their members commits violent, terrorist acts. That is not the case when it comes Islam. It’s the prevailing double-standard within Western society that is the issue here.

        Killer/terrorist is (white) Christian: “He/she is pretending to be Christian or his/her religion has nothing to do with his crimes.

        Killer/terrorist is Muslm: “This is proof that Islam is evil and all Muslims are evil without exception.”

        • Eileen Porter

          If you are going to assert that KKK is built on Biblical Scripture then stop denying that Muslim terrorists are built on the Koran. I remember seeing scenes of millions of Muslims in the streets cheering that 9-11 happened–that was abhorrent. Never will you see millions of Christians or even just Americans cheering violence as Muslims do on a regular basis.

          • Really, Eileen? On this very thread you see people posting who would heartily cheer any attack on Islam, so virulent is the hatred. And, just like the hatred and fear of blacks and other people of color, the most rampant is in the pockets of the country where live the people who have little if any contact with the world outside their neighborhood.

    • People might actually take you seriously if you knew were talking about. Breivik said this about his religious views, “I’m not going to pretend I’m a very religious person as that would be a lie”. In his own mind he linked the views of Naziism and radical Islam. He believed that radical Islam was going to take over Europe. He was very critical of the Norwegian Lutheran Church.

      Please name your source for your statement, “More than 6 millions have been killed so far by Americans alone in those regions.” The combined population of Iraq and Afghanistan to 2001 was about 45,000,000. That would mean, according to your outlandish claim, that 1 in 8 living in both coutries were killed by American troops. A recent Brown University study puts the number at about 132,000, but says the count is probably higher. Additionally, MOST of the deaths have not been at the hands of American soldiers but by the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

      As for the KKK. There are fewer than 3,000 active members. Considering about 76% of all Americans self-identify as Christian (Protestant, Catholic, etc.), 3,000 out of 200,000,000 is a very small minority. The KKK is both anti-Catholic and anti-Jewish. Catholicism is a form of Christianity. Most Protestant groups embrace Judaism, since Jesus was a Jew. God has said through Abraham’s decendants He will bless all the nations. So, it can readily by argued, if the KKK is in ANY way Chrisitian. It is so far awry of mainstream Christianity to truly not be really Christian in any way at all.

      • Oh, I missed this first time through Jeff.

        “Most Protestant groups embrace Judaism, since Jesus was a Jew” Jeff? They are a plague. The only reason they “like” us, is because they want to convert us. And then there are those who don’t like us, and don’t pretend to like us. The third kind are the ones who love Israel and Jews, but that is because if all the Jews move to Israel, Jesus will come, kill all of the Jews, the world will end and the Special Christians (them) will all go to heaven (no Catholics need apply).

        “God has said through Abraham’s decendants He will bless all the nations.” Where did God say that? Certainly not in THE Bible. “Bless all the nations”? I don’t think so. THAT does not sound like the God of Moses! “Thou shalt have No Other god before ME, for I am a Jealous God”. If you are going to have your little garden god, or cooking god, or some other little god, tell them to get in line. I, God, come FIRST! Got is an “I’m going to kick your butt” God. Once the Second Temple was destroyed, and we were forbidden Jerusalem by the Romans, we had to improvise. But God kept us together for almost 2000 years, until the Holocaust, and then He brought us back to Judea. That is the short version. God brought us home and blessed us.

        The KKK is very Christian. They were formed to save their white Christian women, from those black subhuman men, only they were not so polite. Why do you think it is a cross they burn? It is because they do their worst in the name of their Christian God. They are from the South and the “fly-over” states. You know, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. Oh, and they find their reasoning stuffed in the pages of part of a book written over 3000 years ago. Really modern thinking. But they believe the world is 6000 years old.

        • Joanne, Genesis, believe it or not, is in the Bible. Genesis 12:2, “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you. I will make your name great and you will be a blessing.” Gen. 12:3, “And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you: and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Gen. 18:18, “Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him.” Maybe you should try READING the Bible before claiming you know what it says and what it does not say. By the way, God promised He would bring the Jews back to Israel. Try reading Isaiah, chapter 11, Ezekieal chapter 39, or Jeremiah chapter 31 for starters.

        • Bernardo Stevens

          The KKK? It’s gone, dude. And it ain’t coming back. But jihadi Muslims are killing people all over the world every single week.

          thereligionofpeace.com

    • You can make your point without hyperbole. Six million have not died. One million have left Iraq and another million are displaced within Iraq. So six million cannot be dead. Six million Jews were murdered in Europe by the Nazis. Maybe that is why that number is stuck in your head. And yes, they were murdered by Christians.

      We are in Afghanistan because Bush stopped looking for bin Laden in Afghanistan, took all resources that could find him and deal with his terrorists, and sent them to Iraq. He left soldiers with orders to hold it. There was no reason to be there; we should have left there, because we only went there to get bin Laden, and he was gone. Bush chased the Pakistani Taliban out, which was a good thing, and that put the Afghans back in charge. We had no other reason to be there. The place is a disaster zone, a quagmire, and we have been trying to get out. We now have a “see ya” date.

    • Afghanistan had nothing to do with 9/11? I think you mean Iraq…

      The reason for staging an invasion in October of 2001 was the safe harbor given to al-Qa’ida by the Taliban.

      • You seem to be a pretty serious person, Mike. 270 million is also a serious number. I guess this number also entails the local people in Africa, Far East, Central Asia, South Asia, Middle East etc, who fought against their western colonial oppressors, and were dehumanized and murdered. Please add the number of American Indians, Japanese, Chinese and the people killed in the two world wars in the establishment of the global western exploitative capitalist system. No need to go back to Andalus, and to count the millions of non-Christians killed. Enough to add the two million Iraqi people killed just in last years, again, in the name of your western domination. You have the blood of people from all over the world in your hands, Mike. And still you are furious and full of hatred. You are typical, Mike: ignorant, ready to be brainwashed, and arrogant enough to monopolize love (no offense). No, Mike: we are human beings. We see our blood in your hands and the world is suffering because of your global exploitation system. Keep hating others, and keep killing people over the world: we will struggle peacefully and forgive you. Only people who can forgive can smile sincerely Mark; can you?

  10. I wholeheartedly agree that “we [should] evaluate people for what they do, not who they are,” but that point can stand without the other problematic arguments made in this essay. Radicalism is the real issue here. The guy who shot up a movie theater was not a religious radical. No, he was a nutcase, but not a radical religious nutcase. The guy who executed kids in Newtown was also a run of the mill nutcase, not a religious fanatic. Of the religious fanatics who have committed mass murder in the US, most were self-proclaimed Muslim radicals. But that’s irrelevant. While there are violent instructions in the Torah, Bible, and Koran, there are also condemnations of violence. I think the problem is radicalism. But, if we punish the criminal for the crime, as you suggest, there is no need to idealize problematic contradictions in Abrahamic dogma.

  11. bit long winded

    First, thank you for writing this. It’s sad that this still needs to be said at all. One of the terrible things that this crime revealed was just how bigoted so many of us still are, with everyone rushing to project their own personal favorite scapegoat groups into the giant ‘?’ that was the perpetrator of the Boston Bombings (an attack that didn’t give many clues as to identity or motive in the way that a more focused target would). I was definitely one of the people thinking ‘please don’t let them be Muslim.’

    However, I will say that I think your emphasis on white privilege is somewhat misplaced here. The public apologies for this would not be demanded from Hispanic communities or Black communities or East Asian communities significantly more than from white communities. This is more ‘everyone but Muslim’ privilege (especially Arab-Muslims). It is only Muslims who are burdened time and again with the demand to prove that they aren’t all the same as a lone whackjob or a small extremist group (and how could anyone ever prove something like that beyond just living peacefully, as how many million Muslims do every day?). The people within ANY demographic know that being that particular ethnicity, race, religion, political affiliation, etc doesn’t cause these crimes. We know this because, for the vast majority, we (and like as not many of our friends and family) are living proof. We know what is in our own hearts, and when someone who resembles us in these ways does something as vicious as these attacks we feel how alien it is to us and to who we are, feel how it’s the traits that are different between us instead of the traits that we have in common that allowed them to do such a thing. Belonging to a group, or being on friendly terms with many people within it, means that when a person in that group does something like this you can rightly regard it as atypical. White people do have an advantage here in this way. Being the largest racial demographic in this country (which means that aside from having the most people, the odds are very high that any given person in this country regularly interacts with quite a few white people), and being the most seen and heard through various forms of media. White people are the most familiar to the most people. That does NOT mean escape from people assuming that the perpetrators of specific crimes are white (such as the despicable hate crimes that occurred in the wake of the Boston bombing, or even the bombings themselves- most assumptions that I saw split pretty evenly between ‘Muslim’ and ‘white republican’), or that no one blames the race as a whole for the actions of one (remembering a lot of outcries of ‘The whites are murdering us!’ around the Trayvon Martin shooting), or even treating a specific kind of crime as being ‘a white thing’ (such as school shootings- the majority of perpetrators are white, yes, but to an extent that matches up pretty closely with the demographics of the country as a whole; that didn’t stop a number of ‘What is it about being white and male that causes school shootings?’ articles from being passed around following Sandy Hook). It DOES mean that bigoted assumptions towards white people tend to be held by a smaller number of people, and as a result the cumulative effect is lesser.

    I have never seen the level of open hatred, fear, and physical danger directed towards Muslims as towards any other group in this day and age, and the media representation that perpetuates this sickens me. This is a group where the many lovely people remain unknown to many many Americans, and this is the group where the blame all-too regularly goes beyond finger-pointing and shouting. I can’t imagine how frightening it is to be visibly Muslim when something is bombed (no matter who is actually responsible), and am angry that this is a reality that so many people have to live with.

    • ” The public apologies for this would not be demanded from Hispanic communities or Black communities or East Asian communities significantly more than from white communities. ”

      You must have not been paying much to the vitriol from the white conservative echo chamber regarding urban violent crime (blacks), immigration (Hispanics and Southeast Asians), and poverty (all of the above plus Native Americans but minus rural whites, apparently). Mass media — often at the behest of the right-wing crackpots — often invoke images of “scary young bucks” (such as the infamous Willy Horton ad) or “illegal invaders” whenever a person of color is involved in a highly sensationalized crime. As a result, the NAACP, LULAC, and immigrant advocacy groups find themselves on the defensive as those entire communities are smeared due to the actions of the particular individuals involved. “Oh look. The cop killer is in the country illegally. We need to close the borders and demand all Hispanic looking people to show their papers!” “Another young black male robbing the liquor store. This just proves that blacks cannot be responsible citizens and that government assistance only leads to a life of crime, so the South was right!.” These stereotypes are continually reinforced amongst the general (read: white, middle-class American) population by mainstream media and bigoted politicians/celebrities/bloggers and only serves to foster even more distrust amongst everyone. Fear of “teh Muzzies” is a more recent phenomenon thanks mostly to that infamous day roughly 11.5 years ago.

  12. Are you not speculating now that it had nothing to do with Chechnya or Islam? All reality we do not know. Hate crimes are happening to Muslims, well maybe you all should be more active in curtailing radicalism in your religon. I always hear about idiots protesting over there and hear as well. But, I never hear someone protest rational thought. Your people bring this upon themselves, and so you should take responsibility, and try to stop it from happening again, because this is more than an American problem, It is a problem that belongs to humanity.

    • Yea? What have you done to demolish the KKK?! There are thousands of people being killed in the world at the hands of white Christians…What are you doing about that?! Unfortunately, that is not important to Americans, so you don’t hear it. What happened to all the natives in America? Radical white men took over their land… by force! Thats OK though.
      You white people kill on a daily basis…killing of kids, lockdown of schools related to killings – what have you done to stop American crazies?! Get your gullible ass away from the tv an help “your people” from killing people in the rest if the world!!

      • Sadly, you know very little about the history of the Americas prior to the “white man” arriving. Native Americans were killing EACH OTHER prior to 1607. There were at least a dozen tribes that were even eating their enemies.

          • No, no justification for anything. The comment was made in response to, “What happened to all the natives in America? Radical white men took over their land… by force! Thats OK though. You white people kill on a daily basis…” The assertion was “YOU” white people, which is a very racially-biased comment. Hate and evil know no race. I was merely saying that it was not white men that brought hate and killing to the Americas. It beat us here by thousands of years. Native Americans were killing and colonizing before Europeans ever got here.

      • What have we done to demolish the KKK? Um, well, everything. The KKK doesn’t exist anymore outside a few(literally)cranks do to the efforts of the state, local and Federal law enforcement that began targeting and dismantling it in the 1960′s.

    • My proposal is that we should be more active in curtailing bigotry here in the US– bigotry that often leads to the illegal and unethical assault of innocent people who happen to look Middle Eastern or be Muslim.

    • you’re right, followers of Islam must make an effort to stop the radical followers of their religion. They make no effort to do so and then want people to not generalize against their religion and communities when something like this happens. They need to be more responsible in denouncing terrorism and hate against Americans,etc. that exist in their countries and religion.

      I can’t understand why this is an “American problem”, because Islamic terrorists are commiting terrorism all over the world in different countries. It clearly is an Islamic problem, regardless of what the Muslims want to believe.

      • Totally agree. This entire article is the most biased piece I think I’ve ever read. If Islam is not the problem then tell that to the thousands dying every month in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. This guy just wants to try to get the attention off himself and the fact that his religion is being used to savagely murder thousands of innocent people every year. Also, I would like to see him name some Christian terrorists.

  13. Barbara Cloutman

    I see that I am in the minority here. I definitely would like to eradicate all Muslims from America and send them back to the Middle East. This country was formed on Judeo-Christian principles and today we must compromise those principles so that everything is politically and socially correct. If you come to America, you should abide by the principles herein. I am disgusted each time our Bill of Rights and Constitution is challenged to include a newcomer’s beliefs or needs.Christmas displays are offensive…get out of here. If it bothers you, then do not come to a Christian country. To all American Muslims I say: you certainly must continue to practice your religious beliefs, but you do not have the right to demand, nor does any other religion or lack thereof have the right to dictate that this country amend its Christian and Hebrew foundation to accommodate you.

    If I go to France, I obey France’s laws and adopt and respect their culture and beliefs while there. The same is true if I go to Iran, Israel, or Arabia. Yes, I would cover my head and obey Muslim cultural rules in their countries as I am a guest. If I choose to relocate to such a country, then I must abide by their culture. Should I not, then I would expect to be punished by both the people and the government of the country that I am not respecting.

    It is a fact that radical Muslims believe in terror, Al-Qaeda is recruiting world wide from all ethnicities so white, black, brown, yellow…all are now involved in Muslim terror. To be fair, there are devout Muslims that live the Koran values and principles and are indeed, holy and respectful people. However, their religion has been bastardized by usurpers that have embraced murder, mayhem and death which I cannot see written as Islamic dogma.

    In closing, although I am angry at the radical Islam movement, I would ask that my fellow Americans stop the physical abuse against people they know nothing about. I have seen indiscriminate actions that are not right in any society. Hindu’s, Kurds, and other middle eastern religious have been unfairly targeted by igorant and illiterate Americans. These people do not even know what they are attacking and need to be prosecuted.

    To all immigrants to the USA, adopt our culture (notice I do not say religion) and do not expect us to change our culture to maintain your sensitivities.
    God Bless America.

    • Barbara, “Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to be free….” What about e pluribus unum? Out of many, one. If we truly believe in the greatness of America, in the vision of the founding fathers, in the essence of Christianity, that God really DID give His one and only begotten son that all men could be drawn unto Him, then we should never be afraid of other religions or beliefs. The thing that REALLY scares Muslims is that young Muslims around the world are turning to Jesus Christ in increasing numbers as they see that the “religion of peace” can’t deliver true peace.

      • Hey Jeff I think you are living in imaginary world. What attractions does the Christianity has so the young people are turning to it. Please first do some research that who is turning to what: Muslims to Christianity or Christians to Islam.

        • The Internet site aljazeera.net published an interview with Ahmad Al Qataani أحمد القطعاني An important Islamic cleric who said: “In every hour, 667 Muslims convert to Christianity. Everyday, 16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity. Ever year, 6 million Muslims convert to Christianity.” Want more proof?

          • Jeff, good grief, do the math. The item you cite is over seven years old. If the “statistic” you mentioned was anything other a wild hyperbole, Islam would have lost over 42 million adherents. That simply hasn’t happened. Check your sources before claiming “proof.”

          • First of all, “The thing that REALLY scares Muslims” – If you’re going to generalize to such an extent, do not expect people to take you seriously. It sounds very ignorant.
            Second of all, as much as I am impressed by your ability to copy and paste entire phrases from www.faithfreedom.org and similar websites… I actually would like more proof. For instance, what study was this very important cleric referring to? By whom was it conducted? And how?
            “Studies where information from different sources corroborates the same sets of facts or events are considered to be of higher quality because concerns related to construct validity are mitigated.” – See? I can copy/paste too.

          • Dear Jeff, if you want to have a real debate with someone, I advise you to stop your bad habit of copy/pasting. I ask you for details on the comprehensive study conducted by this “important cleric” and you give me an article by James M. Arlandson, Islamophobe extraordinaire. You suggested you could give us proof, and instead you gave us the incompetent explanation (and not proof) of a man known for his blatant hate and disregard of Islam. Do you not see a problem there?

            Also, you are giving me a lot of random statistics. Are you aware that Wiki Islam is not a reliable source of information? For example, while Wikipedia has one or multiple sources cited for every study mentioned in their articles, Wiki Islam has absolutely no sources whatsoever. Click here: http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Muslim_Statistics. now tell me, do you see any footnotes?
            You know what, seeing how this “debate” is going, I wouldn’t be surprised if you were also a hardcore fan of Debbie Schlussel and Pamela Geller. It is useless to try and have a meaningful discussion with you.

            And just to answer your question, yes, of course the cleric has a good reason to lie. I personally do not care if Muslims convert to Christianity. If they do, good for them. But when a person invents (and yes, he invented it) a statistic, you should ask yourself what could be his motive, or his agenda.
            For instance, maybe by pointing out that many Muslims are converting in Africa, Islamists will take heed and start doing more Jihad in the region. If he worries Islamists into thinking that Christianity is growing, maybe they will pick up the practice of beheading apostates as well. Or maybe this “important cleric” made an honest mistake. The truth is, you cannot take everything at face value. Even if it is convenient for you and your racist beliefs. Also note that I differentiated between Muslims and Islamists.

            As for your article “Violence Leaves Young Iraqis Doubting Clerics”, it does not even mention Muslims converting to Christianity. It just shows that you are completely out of your depth. It has nothing to do whatsoever with the subject that we’re discussing. However, for the sake of leaving no stone unturned, I will tell you this: If you think the article will shock me, you are sorely mistaken. Of course Muslims leave Islam everyday, just like everyday Christians leave Christianity. If you are trying to “prove” that Islam is an evil religion because people are renouncing their faith in it, then by the same reasoning, Christianity is also an evil religion.

          • I did not got to a wiki page of any kind. If there are similarities, so be it. I happen to have VERY good friends who are missionaries to Muslims. They have been in 5 different Muslim countries and relate how each and every day more and more Muslims are turning their backs on Islam. The New York Times article was referencing the growing number of young Muslims who are becoming disgusted with their clerics and their religion. Search for yourself and you will find similar articles in The London Times, The Lemonde, Der Spiegel, and many more. Why do you think Pastor Saeed Abedini was jailed in Iran? It’s because the Christian home church movement in Iran is growing exponentially.

          • You do not go on a wiki page of any kind? With all the lies that you have been spewing, I do not believe you. From the way you display all your information, it is obvious that your mind is set and that you are determined to keep your hateful and bigoted views. Verily, you are seeing the speck in other people’s eyes, and disregarding the log that is in your own eye.

          • Sarah, if you’re going to quote the Bible, you should at least know what it means first. Example, if it means what you imply it means then not only should I stop saying anything about Islam, but YOU should have never have said anything about me saying something about Islam! Because according to YOUR use of the passage, YOU are guilty of doing exactly what you are accusing me of doing. In Greek the word used for “judge” here is Krino. It means literally to condemn, as in to condemn to judgement, i.e. to condemn to hell. Only God can do that, and only as a direct response to Jesus’ question of “Who do you say that I am?” which He put to His disciples. If we are never to judge the motives and actions of someone then Jesus contradicted Himself in John 7:24 when He said, “Stop judging by mere appearance but instead judge correctly.” Since we know Jesus never contradicted Himself, that means that both your understanding of Matthew 7 and your application of it are in error.

          • Sarah says: “Wiki Islam has absolutely no sources whatsoever. Click here: http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Muslim_Statistics. now tell me, do you see any footnotes? ”

            Actually, do you see that large bolded text at the top of the same page that says:

            “All statistics are referenced. Click on the “read more” tabs to view sources. This is only a sample of available statistics. More statistics arranged according to category can be found in the menu above”

    • Barbara, You cannot expect your fellow Americans (all christians and jews I imagine) to stop abusing people who look like they might be middle eastern when you spout the retoric you do in your opening remarks where you say you would like to eradicate all Muslims from America and send them back to the Middle East. Why stop with Muslims?? There are many other people who do not fit your narrow “christian/judeo” criteria.

    • I’m American. And caucasian, at that. I’m not Christian. This nation was founded on the separation of Church and State. This land was settled during a time of religious persecution and exclusion. Our founding fathers were not Christian — they were deists. This is not a Christian nation — our founding fathers refused to acknowledge such in the documents of our origination. Why should I have to suffer your religion’s beliefs? “In God We Trust” wasn’t even added until the Communist scare. Moreover, what “culture” do you advise that everyone else adopt? Is there some homogenous “American culture” that the majority somehow adheres to? Have you traveled around the United States at all?

      • Michael, please reread the U.S. Constitution and post the exact spot where you find the phrase “separation of church and state”. I’ll be waiting. The phrase “In God is our Trust” was first used in the fourth stanza of The Star Spangled Banner, written in 1814. It was approved for use at U.S. Naval functions in 1889 and later adopted as our national anthem. The phrase “In God we Trust” was first used on U.S. coinage in 1864. It was approved for use by the U.S. Congress in 1863.

        President Thomas Jefferson wrote, “The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time.” He also said asked “Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are of God?”

        The Bible says:
        “It is better to trust the LORD than to put confidence in man” (Psalm 118:8).

        • The phrase “separation of church and state” was actually first used by the very same Thomas Jefferson in 1802 and was embodied in the 1st Amendment’s line, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

          Belief in a god does not imply Christianity. Thomas Jefferson is, and as I said, along with most of the Founding Fathers, a Deist.

          The use of “In God We Trust” has been hotly debated since the beginning, and it was, in fact, not our national motto until the Cold War, 1956. E Pluribus Unum — Out of Many, One — was our national motto until that point.

          • You are both right and wrong. You are correct that Thomas Jefferson first coined the phrase. However, when the U.S. Constitution was written Thomas Jefferson was in France. He had almost nothing to do with it. Additionally, he used the phrase in a letter to the Danbury Baptists to ASSURE them that the state would not interfere with their free exercise of their Christian faith.

            I find it kind of funny that you refused to address the fact that “In God we Trust” was OFFICIALLY used on our coinage in 1863. You also failed to address that the U.S. Navy officially approved the use of The Star Spangled Banner in 1889.

            One more thing for you. If the founding fathers were mere deists (a few were, but not in the same sense as deists are today) then why did the very first congress approve paid chaplains, ALL Christians? Also, why did your hero, Thomas Jefferson, approve the use of FEDERAL TAX DOLLARS to be spent on sending CHRISTIAN missionaries to Indians (now called Native Americans)? Why did he also approve using FEDERAL TAX DOLLARS to build churches for said Indians?

            Sadly, you fail to recognize the difference between religion and sects. The founding father did not want ANY sect or denomination of the Christian religion to be the official government denomination. Indeed, most states already had an official state church when this country was founded. The Baptists didn’t want the Anglicans or Quakers, for example, to be the official U.S. church such as the Church of England was.

            Please, go back and read the original documents that explain both the revolution and the U.S. Constitution instead of what folks TODAY say it means. Think for yourself.

        • Oh, I didn’t address your bible quote. In response, I’ll pull an applicable quote from a document with similarly weighted authority:

          “Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain.” (Arthur Weasely, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets)

          • When Harry Potter can heal me of cancer, then I’ll stop quoting Scripture. I was miraculously healed in August 1977 at the ripe old age of 18 of Hodgkins Disease (Lymphoma). I laid in a hospital bed and was healed instantaneously. Your turn.

          • Oh, I’m sorry. I see where we have confusion now. I *don’t* believe that works of fiction can magically heal people. Your fascinating religious anecdote holds no more weight with me than someone claiming that reading Harry Potter made them a wizard. I certainly don’t mind either — I encourage people to believe whatever they’d like. However, I’m grateful every day that our Deist Founding Fathers recognized this danger and prohibited fantastical beliefs as a basis for government.

          • Michael, would you care to see my medical records and Dr’s report? Sadly, you place your faith in man, who has constantly shown himself to not be reliable. As for me and my household, we choose God who is reliable. Long before man had any idea how many stars were in the heavens, God told Job that the star of the heaven were as numerous as the grains of sand on the beaches of the earth. Guess what scientists have JUST found out. The number of estimated stars are roughly equal to the number of grains of sand on our beaches. Please tell me how a mere man some 3,000+ years ago would possibly know that?

        • as written in Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802. In that letter, referencing the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Jefferson writes: “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.” Jefferson reflected his frequent speaking theme that the government is not to interfere with religion.[15]
          The Bill of Rights was one of the earliest examples in the world of complete religious freedom (adopted in 1791, only preceded by the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen in 1789) but it was interpreted as establishing a separation of Church and State only after the letter of Jefferson (see section United States for more details). At the time of the passage of the Bill of Rights, many states acted in ways that would now be held unconstitutional, some of them with official state churches. All of the early official state churches were disestablished by 1833.

        • Diane There should be one BIG idea that should unite us and that idea is AMERICA. Many of us have forgotten what our forefathers fought for, the constitution , the declaration of independence and what our flag stands for!!! There is no place in the world that will bestow more freedoms on us than America. Freedom, however is not free!!!!! As citizens we must protect our liberties, and those of us who seek to divide and lecture us as to what is right and what is wrong need to do more listening . Alot of our elected officials in Washington have become tone deaf!!!! Collectively we have the answers, but individuals who think they know the way to “Eutopia” are misguided and need to listen to other peoples ideas, I put myself in that category. Our founding fathers hashed out the constitution for many, many hours. If we are not inspired by the politicians in Washington, for gods sake, throw them out and help to change the climate. I work in healthcare in a very diverse workplace, I feel very confident in saying that the majority of them love –America and what it stands for, She needs ALL OF US!!!!!!!!! or she will cease to exist.

    • This country was NOT founded on Judeo Christian values. It was founded on freedom of religion. Believe it or not the founders wanted everyone who came here to be free to practice their religion. Stop pushing yours on me.

      • Nick, I agree that we were not founded on Judeo Christian values the way a lot of people who use the term mean it. Our law is the Constitution not the Bible. Our values are Constitutional values.

        But the founders were operating from a general Christian world view that emerged out of the Enlightenment, and most considered themselves Christians – which makes it all the more remarkable that they did make the freedom of religion as a foundational principle of the republic.

        They were not perfect by any means, but they had some good ideas that we do well to live up to.

        • “But the founders were operating from a general Christian world view that emerged out of the Enlightenment”

          What you consider to be a “general Christian” world view was anything but. In reality, what the Founders adhered to was a philosophy whose roots lie in the Greco-Roman (read: pagan) tradition. They resoundingly rejected and refuted the prevailing Christian orthodoxy of the time. Sure, they may have quoted certain Biblical quotes here and there but primarily within a secular context. Amongst many Enlightenment era figures, Jesus of Nazareth was praised mostly as a great moral teacher (in the vain of Confucius) rather than as the “son of God” he’s portrayed as by the devout (hence the omission of references to the divinity of Jesus and the Holy Trinity in the Jeffersonian Bible). Reason was emphasized over faith, scientific skepticism over superstition, and equality amongst men over hierarchy/caste (though, in practice, the latter was never fully aspired to). The republican values that were the calling card of the day came very much from ancient Rome — not Bethlehem or Jerusalem.

          • It makes me sad that Jeff chooses to be another horrible example of close-minded Christian thinking. I know so many Christians that are open-minded, rational, and capable of moving a conversation forward, but it only takes one person like Jeff to leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. He says, above, “Think for yourself”, when what he really means is “If you don’t agree with what I have to say, your thoughts are irrelevant.” Rory, you’re being very historically accurate. Don’t waste your breath arguing with the kind of zealotry that will never see reason or fact.

          • Rory and Michael. I urged and will continue to urge you to actually READ the Constitution instead of just quoting what other people today say about it. I fail to see, Michael, how that makes me “close minded”. The truly “close minded” are those like you who refuse to go back to the original documents and the accompanying contemporaneous writings to see what the founding fathers actually meant. So yes, I will continue to ask you to think for yourself. How in the world is that “close minded”?

          • Actually, Jeff, I’m a law student at one of the highest-ranked law schools in the nation. I’ve studied the Constitution not only on my own time, but also while studying Constitutional Law under some of the top professors on the topic. Constitutional Rights have been a particular passion of mine. Frankly, Sir, you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about, and I maintain that your use of “Think for yourself” is nothing other than your invalidation of any view that opposes your own.

    • Barbara….first of all, all Muslims aren’t from the Middle East. Secondly, you say that the country was formed on Christians principles..so since homosexuals are condemned by the church, should they be eradicated too? Do you believe that the Constitution shouldn’t change to accept the marriage of homosexuals as a legal marriage?

    • Gee Barbara, I’m sure glad that you Christians were really deists, because if that were not true, we, the Judeo half would be in big trouble. There were laws against us all across the Colonies that persisted after we became a country. You people like to put us out in front to legitimize your positions, and you may find a blessing from angry Israelis, but they are not Americans and they do not speak for us.

      WE are almost all Liberals. You may have noticed that last year when the vast majority of us gave our votes to Barack Obama, even though we were unhappy with some of the things he was doing. You misunderstood. We were unhappy because he is not Liberal enough.

      We are unhappy with Muslims in America. They are not Liberal, and too many want US to change to the way it was done in the “old country”. When we came here, it was because we wanted to get away from the way things were done in the old country. If they were so happy there, why did they come here? I wish that would be the sermon one Friday in every Mosque. But there was something about America that called to them, and most of them figure out what it is. Some don’t.

      There are more radical Christians, armed to the teeth, living away from a lot of their neighbors, attending radical Churches that preach “end of days” and defending their families against the onslaught of “Government” seizure of their weapons, though there was no evidence of that they can tell you. Most of those weapons were bought legally. Most are white supremacists, anti-Semites, anti-black and Latino, who hate Asians too. They are listed with the Southern Poverty Law Center under Christian Terrorists along with KKK.

      As a Jew, I fear Christians a lot more than Muslims. Muslims are not going to try to convert me, and be disappointed and angry when I don’t. That is not true of Christians. As long as we don’t talk about Israel, I get along just fine with Muslims.

      You said, “eradicate all Muslims from America and send them back to the Middle East”. Apparently you don’t believe in the Constitution. That is pretty un-American of you. What would you do with all the Muslims who live in East and South Asia? What would you do with all the Muslims who were born here? There are a lot of Muslims in our prison system, who committed common crimes. Many of them will not be going back to prison because they found Islam, and it has changed their path.

    • RealitySpeaks

      What planet did you come from Barbara, the Americas belonged to the Native American Indians, not the likes of … get you facts straight… if you want migrants out, then YOU need to be the first to go.

    • Typical ignorance. This country was founded on Christian Principles. We didn’t start saying Judeo/Christian until the last few years when everyone started to become PC. Jews were hated in the country in the past (and still are in some areas) just as much as any other minority has been in the past. The way I see it, the Muslims are the newest group and we have to go through the same things other minorities went through until we find our politcal voice. Everyone says no discrimination against a, b, c,… x, y, and z. The only discrimination still acceptable is against fat people and Muslims. Even black people want to separate themselves from Muslims (unless they are Muslim of course) because they are probably just so grateful they are not the scapegoat anymore. The bottom line is the media never even mentions someones religion unless they are Muslim. Furthermore, once the perpetrator is determined to NOT be a Muslim, everyone falls all over themselves to portray the event as a tragedy done by a person suffering from mental illness, etc., etc. Apparently Muslims are the only ones who can’t have suffered a tragic mental illness that could lead to an action which is clearly INSANE…

      P.S., the people making everyone be politically correct and get rid of Xmas displays are usually atheists, NOT people from religious backgrounds.

      • I hate the notion that says this country was founded on Christian principles. It most definitely was NOT. First of all, there was a country and a population here when our forefathers arrived. They promptly killed off the Native population as much as they were able and sentenced the balance to reservations. Then we brought and sold humans into slavery. What “Christian” principles are these? That said, many of the exulted forefathers were atheist. Those that professed Christianity were running away from religious intolerance by the Church of England, a sub-group of the Christian religions. Our Constitution demands that government stay out of the cause for religion and make no laws in support of any religion. Freedom of religion refers to ALL religions, not just the various flavors of Christian religions. Yet, America has become the very hotbed of religious intolerance and hatred. This goes against all the reasoning of those who first came here from Europe.

        All of that said, I agree with the main point of your post, which is tolerance. You are absolutely correct in noting that the only time religion is noted is when the perps are Muslim. Likewise, the only time race is noted is when the perp is black or Latino. If a white male does the crime, he’s just crazy. If a Muslim does the crime, he’s a terrorist. If a black does the crime, it’s because he’s a “typical’ black criminal.

    • Dear Barbara,

      Please correct yourself, America was not formed on Judeo-Christian principles. You need to read American history before commenting on it. Don’t term it as a Christian country. I respect your thoughts otherwise. :)

  14. Sorry, not buying it. He’s comparing apples and oranges when he compares the mass murderers – generally insane and purposeless – with the purposeful, mission-oriented acts of Muslim terrorists.

    He brings Timothy McVeigh into the argument. But McVeigh was an Atheist who had no connection whatsoever with Conservatism, and was inspired by the means used by radical Muslims.

    He’s ignoring the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, CAIR, and dozens of other radical Muslim organizations and radical Muslim leaders all over the world, including Australian Muslim preacher Feiz Mohammad, who influenced the older terrorist in Boston.

    Because he’s Muslim, Omid Safi is sensitive to every wrong done against a Muslim – that’s understandable. But he needs to get a bigger perspective of the infinitely greater number of Americans and others around the world who would NEVER harm or even insult another human being.

    Evidenced by the activities of many worldwide terror organizations, the preaching against America, Israel, and “infidels” by so many Muslim clerics, Safi should speak and write more like the Boston terrorists’ uncle he quoted, who acknowledged the freedom afforded to ALL people in America, loving America for our undeniable, restraint in NOT becoming a mob against innocent Muslims or Chechen’s and NOT passing laws or legislation that prevents Muslims from enjoying the same freedoms and liberties as their fellow Americans enjoy.

    Get off the defensive, Omid. No one’s trying to hurt you or anyone else, despite the overwhelming and obvious threat by a radicalized segment of your religion that is worldwide in scope and gleefully murders women, children, the elderly and other innocents, and teaches their people – as Hitler taught his people – that Jews are less than human.

    Be thankful, Omid, that that you and I live together peacefully (for the most part) in an America that has not yet descended into an angry mob. Your defensive attitude, and your overreaching to make comparisons that don’t exist, fan the fires against you.

  15. Your “10 essential points” is full of generalizations and assumptions about what you THINK other people will believe and do. Your points are based on guesswork and your personal interpretation. I’m glad our legal system isn’t based on guesswork (and one single person’s interpretation). Regarding #1, Ruslan’s opinion is not factual, is biased and is one person’ opinion. We don’t know how credible he is and he is only one person. The rest of the points are problematic as well on many fronts.

  16. I am a Muslim and I am also a mother and I also live in North America. I have many Muslim friends and what most people don’t realize is that there is a big difference between Islam and Muslims. I am a Muslim, but that does not mean that I practice Islam as is the case with many many Muslims. Yes, there are Muslims who commit crimes in the name of Islam and those will be judged severely by God for doing. I am a practicing Muslim and I teach my children to treat others fairly, with respect, to be good and to never harm anyone with their actions or with their tongues. This is the case with most Muslims.

    I also wanted to reply to Kiran Bindu who says that there are two kinds of Qurans. I challenge Kiran to post a credible link to prove this. The Madinah and Makkah that he/she refers to is completely wrong. There are chapters in the Quran that are called Madinah and others called Makkah, both cities in Saudi Arabia. All that means is that these chapters were revealed by the angel Gabriel in those places. That’s all, nothing more or less to it. The whole lying bit until the world becomes predominately Muslim is not true either and I challenge him to present me with credible proof, not proof from some blog that some random person wrote.

    Yes, the Quran does make reference to killing non Muslims, but those were revealed during the time of war, during a time when Muslims were under attack. And even during those times the Quran told the Muslims not to kill old men, women, children, not to take down any trees and to only attack those who attacked them. The Quran also says that who ever murders an innocent person (regardless of faith and gender) it is as though they have killed all of man kind.

    • My God, someone read THE Bible, the Jewish Bible. It is full of horror, blood and murder. It is not a book I would let a child read. It is too full of sex and violence. God not only told the Jews to kill thousands of people, but to bring the foreskins of the soldiers to him. Please! Don’t give me some nonsense about God telling Muslims to kill non-Muslims. You want to read about blood and guts? Read the Bible. It is not a book about Moses and the Red Sea. It is about fighting, death, and a struggle to exist among their endless list of enemies.

      • True….The Old Testament has lots of stories that we cannot relate…..As Americans we must obey our laws. Muslim countries…..do they have a separate set of laws from the Koran? Even in America we have Muslims that want to treat their children under Muslim law…..

          • To one degree or another, currently about 30 countries follow Sharia law. For example, 21 countries either imprison or apply the death penalty for those who blaspheme against Islam.

  17. Jeff, I am from Egypt. I can tell you this, some of the richest and wealthiest people there are Christian. I had many friends there and religion only came up during the time of marriage or on the news. I can also tell you that in Egypt someone is trying to cause a civil war, so they do things to Christians and say Muslims do it, and things to Muslims and say Christians did it.

    • So, you’re saying Muslims are not burning Christian churches? You’re saying there is not a moratorium by the Egyptian governement on repairing or rebuilding Christian churches torched or desecrated? You’re saying there is no law in Saudi Arabia preventing Christians from practising their faith? You’re saying Saeed Abedini, an AMERICAN Christian minister, is not imprisoned in Iran for following his faith? Muslims are not persecuted by Christians for being Muslim. Christians and other religions are persecuted for being non-Muslim.

      • Don’t put words in my mouth, I never said those things. Yes, Muslims do terrible things, as so do many other people from other faiths. But when they burn down a church, or hurt someone that is un-Islamic. And, as a matter of fact, mosques have also been burnt in Egypt. And there are Muslims who were arrested no a daily basis and tortured in prison. Actually, I was refused many many jobs in Egypt because I refused to take off my scarf. Isn’t that ironic? Even I do not have an explanation to that one! Oh, and Muslims do get persecuted by EVERYONE for being Muslim. I for one have received verbal persecution in front of my own children because it is obvious that I am muslim. Help me explain that to my children.

        • Gee, un-Islamic to wage war against non-Muslims? You sure do disagree with this guy, “Those who know nothing about Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those people are witless. Islam says: ‘Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all!’ Does this mean that Muslims should sit back until they are devoured by the infidel? Islam says: ‘Kill them, put them to the sword and scatter them.’ Islam says: ‘Whatever good there is exists thanks to the sword.’ The sword is the key to Paradise, which can be opened only for the Holy Warriors! Does all this mean that Islam is a religion that prevents men from waging war? I spit upon those foolish souls who make such a claim.” (Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini)

          How about this from the Hadith, “Sahih Muslim 4366 Narrated by Umar ibn al-Khattab. Umar heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say: I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslims.” Or this from the Hadith, “Hadith 9:4 “Wherever you find infidels kill them; for whoever kills them shall have reward on the Day of Resurrection.”

          And then from the Koran we have these words of peace:

          48:29: “Those who follow Muhammad are merciless for the unbelievers but kind to each other.”

      • I don’t care what the Egyptian government says, I have seen churches be rebuilt.

        Saudi Arabia is a different story, and I don’t mean that in a good way. Ask anyone who practices Islam properly and they will say the same. Iran is probably also in a different boat since they are Shiat (I know I didn’t spell that right).

        You know, its really easy for you to say these things when all your sources are form the news paper and the media. People forget that a muslim is more than that, I am also a parent and I love my children very much. I am also very very educated and have several degrees. I have no problem questioning my faith and have done so on many occasions. I encourage you and everyone to do the same. I encourage you to take all your questions and concerns but please take them to someone knowledgeable in Islam. Someone who can answer your question based on what the Quran says and what the Prophet has said and done, and not just a random Muslim.

      • man islam donot allow to do such like unlawful act. if any muslim does that he is to be punished as if any american do not follow the american rules will be punished by the state. i dont know about wot you are saying niether i wanna justify them. my request to you is plz reas the difference b/w islam and muslims. just like the difference between christians and christianity. an act by any inndividual should not be blame to the whole muslim world bro

  18. Mr. Safi’s logic is strange. His premise is that Muslims get blamed for everything and Whites do not.
    Sounds like hate so each to me.
    I don’t know of anyone who is blaming the Muslim religion for the tragedy in Boston. The blame is being put on the two brothers who did this vile act. No one else unless there is further evidence to the contrary.

    • Dr. Safi is arguing the opposite: some people are jumping to blame Islam for the tragedy. He defends this by pointing out the hate crimes that have occurred. He’s not saying every US citizen thinks that way.

      I don’t think Dr. Safi is making the gross generalization that “Muslims get blamed for everything” . His point is that there is privilege associated with being in the white majority (majority in numbers and social/economic/political power) – that following an act of terrorism by a white person, another white does not need to fear hate crimes in retaliation for an action s/he had absolutely no control over.

  19. Do Muslims believe that ‘all’ of the Qu’ran is equally important scripture? If so, I’m not sure how Islam could be described as peaceful.

    From the Qu’ran:
    O believers, take not Jews and Christians as friends; they are friends of each other. Those of you who make them his friends is one of them. God does not guide an unjust people. – 5:54
    Make war on them until idolatry is no more and Allah’s religion reigns supreme – 8:39
    O Prophet! Make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites. Be harsh with them. Their ultimate abode is hell, a hapless journey’s end. – 9:73
    When you meet the unbelievers, smite their necks, then when you have made wide slaughter among them, tie fast the bonds, then set them free, either by grace or ransom, until the war lays down its burdens. – 47:4

    • I am not sure about the first verse, but the others came down to speak to specific wars during a certain time. These are not verses that speak to modern times and should not be generalized.

      The Quran says in one of the chapters(1) I worship not what you worship, (2) Nor are you the worshippers of what I worship, (3) And I shall not be a worshipper of what you have worshipped. (4) Nor will you be the worshipper of what I worship. (5) You requital shall be yours, and my requital shall be mine. (6)
      So in other words, I will worship what I want, and the same with you.

      Honestly, we all need to start thinking for ourselves, and we all need to start becoming better people.

    • yes man thes are the words of quran but in quran word of peace use more times then war.
      if anybody attack USA what USA will do they will counter them.. just like that if the enemies attack on Islam then muslim should defend thmselves.
      “there is not a single verse in the Quran that calls for an unmitigated, unqualified, or unreserved obligation to fight the unbelievers.”[32] According to Esposito and Mogahed, the Quran balances permission to fight the enemy with a strong mandate for making peace: “If your enemy inclines toward peace, then you too should seek peace and put your trust in God” (Quran 8:61) [33]
      If anyone slays a person unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land it would be as if he slew all people.

      • you are quoting it out of context,i am born Muslim up to primary level of schooling i went to a Catholic school,secondary and higher to a Hindu school so that means what am i not a Muslim, and who has the right to say that?

    • Faisal Saddiq

      I think this is much better than accusing Prophets of God of adultery and nudity (see Genesis in the bible on Prophets Noah and Lot).
      All of the Qur’an is the truth and nothing more than that. It has never been changed or had versions that change contents and context.
      For your information, the Noble Qur’an is full of wisdom and every verse you read in It was revealed for a reason. However, It is dynamic and goes with all generations. Please study It with an open mind and seek explanations (from knowledgeable persons) for what you do not understand. Islam encourages peace in all its ramifications.

  20. Alot of ignorance listed in the comments .. I think u guys watch too many Hollywood movies.. wake up and smell the coffee.. Muslims had an empire for 1300 years and Christian and Jews lived freely doing their daily live with business and worship w/o any harassment from anyone and treated equally… so all these idiots trying to make a point shut up and read about true Islam before you make your own pre-judgments.. u can not label whole religion by someone action because he belongs to that religion or country.. that is stupid and ignorant.

  21. I like everything that you said but I still think we can not jump to the conclusion that bomber # 2 is guilty. innocent until proven guilty.Secondly, as I watched the police go door to door during their search for the suspect, it reminded me of scenes I had seen of house searches in Iraq by US soldiers. The bombing was horrendous and can not be justified under any condition, but should we not stop and think about the people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and so many other countries where America has been involved, that are enduring bombings on a daily basis. What makes their suffering any less painful? To end this senseless killing we need to respect all human life. As long as we fail to treat all beings with justice and dignity how can we expect change. What is not good for America is not good for the rest of the world.

  22. Omid,

    You made good points, and I hope people don’t fall into a scapegoating of Muslims. A Muslim friend and co-worker knows the Syrian woman in Malden who was attacked. She has also been getting stares lately (more than usual). I have seen it myself on the sub-way on the occasions we ride it together. But I have to say that this post always tends to go where your posts always go: from rightly criticizing offensive behavior to getting into the blame game yourself. You give it variations, but this time its “white privilege” and by extension white people. You really end up hurting your own message, and you do it again and again. Part of the problem here is that many academics have no problem at all spouting hatred towards whites, all the while couching it in putative social critique. I’m not saying you hate, but you certainly are using a discourse that I would consider hate speech. If you want to criticize American policy, then by all means do so; but I wish you would stay away from race talk.

  23. Sincerely Human

    I appreciate all the comments made which would make peace and harmony between people. Stop discussing the Religion. Few pathetically psychic Ill people bring religion into every wrong doing of some loser who could not overcome his confused thoughts. Muslim , Christian or a Jew are not responsible for any kind of violence. F the Media for deviating few important issues that should bother the american economy. Hell with all the people who do not want peace. But Peace loving people should come together to make this world a heavenly place. Pray for the Deceased and the family. Put a “Period” to this discussion because it is spoiling the very essence and purpose of the article written.

    “So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.”<<— My fav part of the Article

    God Bless the whole of Humanity. Its Spring time. Get out of your houses and TV sets or XBOX and enjoy the nature and have fun.

  24. Ohhhh people like you make me so mad!!! Stop spreading things that are not true about Islam! Islam is a peaceful religion. The war in your country went both ways, your people killed millions of innocent Muslims. The way I see it, it’s all political bullshit over there( in your country) and they just use religion as their weapon, making the Indians hate each other. Sad thing is it works on stupid ignorant people like you. But not on all. I have a lot of Indian friends, both of whom are muslims and Hindus, and they are not ignorant and respect one another. My best friend is Hindu and I’m a Muslim but we love and respect one another. It’s stupid people like you who try to put hatred among people.

    • Don’t let the person upset you. He spells Iraq: Irak
      I’m not usually one to pick apart grammar; a persons writing says allot about a person — that writing my friend says that person is uneducated and ignorant.

      • Nick,

        You must have opened your eyes when you were being hypnotized. Please read my reply to Mike and the links that I provided thoroughly debunking the article that he linked to from one of the top hate sites against Islam on the Internet.

    • Mike,

      “Taqiyya” is just an invention of Islamophobes to allow them to conveniently ignore all the facts about Islam that totally contradict their viewpoints. I can’t believe what an idiot you are to fall for this irrational nonsense, and what a further idiot you are for buying into the debunked BS on “thereligionofpeace” website. I thoroughly humiliated the owner of this site, Glen Roberts, in a private email debate. By the time I finished destroying his claims, one after the next, he finally refused to continue debating me. He is a clown, and the poor guy sounded like I took all his toys away from him when he lost one argument after the next. For the truth on “taqiyya”, please read the facts at the following sites:

      http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/the_taqiyya_libel_against_muslims

      http://www.loonwatch.com/2010/08/taqiyya-the-ultimate-intellectual-cop-out/

      Read it and weep, dimwit.

  25. A true American has the capability to understand other cultures, religions, and lifestyles which are different than their own. With that knowledge, true Americans educate others who don’t quite “get it” and that in turn should create a better educated America. Then perhaps the world will follow.

  26. “Islam doesn’t preach violence” – Bullshit!!
    Quran (2:191-193) – “And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution [of Muslims] is worse than slaughter [of non-believers]… but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah.” -

  27. Diana R Ahmed

    Great article. I would just disagree with your point about the brothers not being “pious” Muslims….whatever that means! Methinks that sounded a tad judgemental coming from a follower of Rumi!
    Also, I did not think it very respectful to post the photo of the alleged bomber and his then girlfriend (current widow). Whatever the circumstances, she has lost a husband and a father to their daughter.

    • Omid Safi

      dear Diana, salam alaykum. You make a very good point. I had used that picture because at the time I put up the post it was one of the only ones that was available to me from the photo essay featuring Tamerlan. Furthermore, you are right that the judgment about his girlfriend was judgmental, and unfair. I have also learned since yesterday that they got married and have a little girl. They are in my prayers. I cannot imagine the grief that she and their daughter must be going through. I have removed the picture and deleted it from the media library. Peace with you.

  28. These two boys were disaffected Muslims doing what disaffected Muslims do.

    Safi – your article is a disgrace. You desperately (from point one onwards) wish to make a single point. IE that this episode can’t realistically be linked to Islam.

    Have you for a single second considered the possibility that these actions were very much a product of Islam?

  29. Diana R Ahmed

    Great article. I would just disagree with your fourth point about the brothers not being “pious” Muslims due to their alleged drinking and partying behaviors. I am surprised to hear this judgmental tone from a follower of Mevlana!
    Also I didn’t think it was very respectful to post the photo of the elder brother and his then-girlfriend, now widow. Regardless of the circumstances she has lost a husband and a father to her daughter and deserves our compassion not contempt and mockery.
    To me this is the essence of our faith.

  30. Very well written article. My only caveat is with too loose an application of the concept of “White Privilege.” I don’t find the notion itself problematic, indeed, I think it’s self-evident, but it can also obscure something important. The men who attacked the Bangladeshi in the wake of the bombing have been reported to be Latinos. To cling too earnestly to the notion of “White Privilege” is to run the risk of obscuring the fact that much of anti-Arab sentiment is as much a part of nationalism as it is assaults on racial identity. So it shouldn’t be surprising when people of color join in assaults on those they assume (often incorrectly) are Arabs out of a misguided sense of patriotism.

  31. Don’t you find it weird that the author is plugging his business “Illuminated Tours” on this page? read his bio on the right and then look at all the advertising on the page for the tours :) I get the general idea of what he’s trying to convey and there are several good points in here but there are also many flaws with this BLOG. In the opening paragraph and first 2 numbered points alone you can see what I am talking about. “The experts you see on TV opining on Chechnya and the Chechen people do not know anything about Chechnya”& “Less than 24 hours ago, no one had heard of the Tsarnaev brothers” the first quote is a broad and incorrect statement and the second, again,is inaccurate. The FBI interviewed the older brother in back in 2011 and unfortunately didn’t do enough follow up post interview to keep tabs on him. By no means am discrediting the whole blog and the general spirit of what then author is trying to get at, but I’m tired of people rewording things around to validate their points.i could keep on going but I think you get the picture.

  32. Endless words and facts, glad you all know how to use google to research. Now, the question is that in all the time it takes you to write and rebut each other, what the hell have you people done to change the world? Your opinions are a mere lack of your actual effort to do your part! It’s the sadest thing to witness a human flaw in action, but why don’t you go help someone or yourself! Hate is hate…it just so happens that more people have suffered and died in our history because of religion then for any other reason! You have to love yourself to even conceive loving someone or something! Help yourself to the universal concept of LOVE!!!

    • Duncan Scrymgeour

      Our opinions are our own and who are you to tell us when to share them? The highest rates of death occurred during the regimes of the decidedly irreligious ideologies of the 19th and 20th centuries, so your “facts” about religion and death are merely the repetition of a very old chestnut, wrapped in an opinion, which you, apparently, felt some point in sharing with us. So here we are full circle.

  33. Sadly, disaffected, angry and marginalized individuals everywhere, regardless of religion or ethnicity committ horrific crimes. To repeat above:Timothy McVeigh, the Columbine shooters, The Tucson Shooter, The Colorodo Shooter, The Newton Shooter. The Atlanta Olympic bomber. I think it would be wrong to condemn an entire religion. Extreme religious beliefs, outside the normal interpretation, create extremists: Waco, Ruby Ridge, The Westboro Baptists (granted they haven’t killed anyone, but they sure are filled with hate!) sigh…personally, this is why I follow no organized religion.

  34. Surya Chaithanya

    The world is already divided into countries and the countries have its own geographical limits. The life styles, habits, etc are also set for developed countries, and we shall realize how they become developed? It is by bringing the money or resources from different parts of the world by one means or other. You have to get a lot of things from outside your jurisdiction and what you own so that you can pay? So your cultivation, production, manufacturing, researches and inventions should be enough, if not you have to go around and do theft or robbery. Another way is to create such situations around the globe by which affected countries shall approach you for getting your products at a higher price and you can divert that money for bringing the required resources in an acceptable manner. The former American rulers had followed it and current and future may follow also. You cannot change anything suddenly, which produce millions of beggars and frustrated violent mob on the streets. If you want start it from Nursery level, change the mindset, enhance the toleration levels simply become a Non-American.
    A man should know about his value, Spiritual importance whether he belongs to Islam, Christian, Buddha, Hindu or whatever it may be. A little frustration – you are with loaded gun and shooting on innocent school kids and ready to die for it. The tolerance level shall be made high from the childhood. A brilliant student and rank holders can be used for terrorism easily than an average student. The brilliant student reaches his great academic level by closing the other doors and windows of his mind and only focusing on those subjects and an ordinary or average student kept his mind open around and knowing, enjoying and managing the situations in routine manner. Hence it doesn’t mean that the academic brilliance is an anti-terrorist attribute.
    The article is about pro Islam facts & figures and considering his position there is nothing wrong in it. But my argument is when the Administration and FBI or whoever says that there is something to worry or take a precaution about certain people, what is wrong in it? If somebody advise you as a pedestrian that there is slurry in the road and it is slippery, it is better to take a little caution by walking carefully and slowly for that reach instead of arguing or shouting that I am wearing a high grip shoe, My weight is enough to make stability against overturning, My way of walking is aerodynamic which will counter slipping, The road cleaning is Govt. responsibility and I have the rights to go fast and careless, If I fall, I will put case against the Govt., etc. You cannot watch around and inspect everything, then the life will be miserable, there are some agencies that do it for you, don’t demoralize them. If you have doubts go with right to information and get the correct information and publish it.
    Presently please note that there are antisocial elements in any society and we have to be careful about them and we should support the agencies that are doing for its elimination as a part of their duties and responsibilities.

  35. I hope you know that not every American feels the way of some of these ignorant people.
    I personally thought the Boston Police tweet: “the terror is over” was wreck-less, the terror will never be over if you know what I mean.

    As far as the news.. I always take it with a grain if salt.
    Here is an example how clueless some anchors are:
    The manhunt for Droner, I’m sure everyone read his manifesto.. Anderson Cooper asked what makes someone tick the way he did.. um hello.. Did you not read the manifesto AndyCoop?
    Yes, I agree… Suddenly everyone is an expert..
    People need to understand that America is not the “white mans land” it is everyone’s land… sadly with terrorist attack, they have to be careful who they let in.. Then again.. Can never be too careful.. It makes me angry that this kid got his citizenship on 9-11-2012 and did this crap. But I do think the 2nd suspect was more a follower than a leader.. yes I do agree for anyone to be able to commit such a horrific act links to mental health! No! It does not make it right; it makes the issue more known that Mental Health should not be overlooked.
    I just hope that ALL American Muslims, Arabs ( forgive my misspellings if I did misspell) and everyone who will become a scapegoat for these two idiots; know not all White or Black people blame you!
    I wish that Boston would have took more precautions like NY did. I know… I know.. I know it is may come off as I am criticizing but I am not. But after put the facts together; them carrying around back packs with over sized coats is a red flag at any event. Think I am just saying that? Think again. You can’t even go in banks like that.
    Great Article by the way.

  36. Don’t let the person upset you. He spells Iraq: Irak
    I’m not usually one to pick apart grammar; a persons writing says allot about a person — that writing my friend says that person is uneducated and ignorant.

  37. A short comment. Emails, blogs are often misinterpreted. Words do not provide enough of a context for compassion and understanding to emerge. You need to see, hear, feel a person in order to truly communicate. I hope everyone discusses these very important issues with each other directly, in community groups, in person, at coffee shops. Only then can we heal the alienation of this world and hopefully prevents these tragedies in the future. When you can see the beauty in another person, you can see the beauty in yourself. And if multiple people can perceive and feel these things at the same time, we will have peace in this world. .

  38. Alienation was not at the root of the Columbine shootings. That point has been established again and again. They were not “loners.” Columbine occurred because Eric Harris was a psychopath. I also don’t think we can say it was at the root of Adam Lanza. There is simply not enough information out there.

  39. All nice said and done but this is .2% of people who might think yea its not religions but reality is that how most white patriot country folks glued to FOX news and PATRIOTS called MOOSLEMS are terrorist lets BOMB THEM.
    “all Muslims are not terrorist but all terrorist are Muslims”.

  40. Beautiful article..thank you. But then also see the comments afterwords. Commentators are starting to dissolve into misunderstandings…..A thought about this. Alienation in some fashion is at the heart of atrocities. Writing emails, using words, commenting in blogs cannot provide the human connection necessary for understanding to occur. Words, by themselves, are often misinterpreted and fall into those places inside of us that attempt to project our hurts outward. I truly hope that we all take the responsibility to discuss the issues in this article in our communities, our places of worship, at coffee shops, with out neighbors, at public library forums…and see the face of each other. If we can see the beauty in another, we can see the beauty in ourselves. If more people can see this in one another, we will have peace

  41. Bernardo Stevens

    Madness. According to Islamic scripture, Mohammad was an extrememly violent man. He personally gave the order to behead 800 bound just-captured prisoners and kick the bodies into a ditch. He personally gave the order then to rape all their wives and daighters. This was at the Massacre of Banu Qurayza, took place in the Dhul Qa‘dah during February and March of 627 CE.

    He personally led a dozen bloody attacks on caravans to steal treasure to support his followers. He personally gave the order to assasinate poets who written poems mocking him. Here’s a list of people he ordered killed. The poets are the first two on the list:
    http://www.wikiislam.net/wiki/List_of_Killings_Ordered_or_Supported_by_Muhammad

  42. Who’d of thunk? When the Berlin Wall fell and Communism collapsed, I wondered who the next Great Enemy would be. Think yourself back to 1989, if you’re old enough: would you have guessed that it would be–Muslims? You would have had the same incredulous-stare reaction as Back to the Future residents in 1955 had on being told that Ronald Reagan was president. That cowboy actor??!!? Muslims??!!? In 1989 the idea that Muslims constituted an international terrorist conspiracy would have gotten the same reception as conspiracy theories about Jesuit plots or extraterrestrials amongst us out to suck our Vital Bodily Fluids. And with good reason.

    How stupid can people be? Yeah, I suppose there are disturbing passages in the Koran. But try the Bible sometime–look at the Book of Joshua.

    I suppose we have to have a Great Enemy. Let’s make it extraterrestrials.

  43. Bernardo Stevens

    The very first war the USA fought was against Islamic jihadis. Called the Barbary Wars. And the jihadis then told Ben Franklin the same thing the jihadis tell us. We have the right and obligation to attack you because our holy book says we must.

  44. “No religion has a monopoly on hatred and idiocy, and no religion has a monopoly on love, compassion, and beauty.”

    Beautiful and true. Thank you, professor, for helping me to reach a state of internal calmness and acceptance, rather than following the temptation to turn to hate.

  45. You left out the most important part. The man they caught is a SUSPECT. We don’t know if he is guilty or not. We have not heard his side of the story. We only know that he went on the run after cops killed his brother. This has not been a normal police investigation. It seems to have been made very important that he be guilty. So guilty that we are not allowed to hear his guilty or innocent plea. What if he was completely innocent? None of his tweets or any of the photos released to the public demonstrates any conclusive evidence. What if the cops either know who did it, but don’t want to say; or what if the cops have no idea who did it, but felt the public needed a show, for the sake of closure? Maybe it should end with a public stoning without trial?

  46. From “The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report”

    “Progressive Muslim” And Unindicted Co-Conspirator Team Up To Trash U.S
    http://globalmbreport.org/?p=7934

    http://globalmbreport.org/?p=7934

    Is Omid Safi a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, too?

    This writing is nothing but propaganda for the ignorant left that seek to excuse the murderous rampages of terrorists.

  47. My friend Howard Bloom just published an e book on….

    The Mohammed Code: Why a Desert Prophet Wants You Dead

    https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/308430#longdescr

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Bloom

  48. Dean Jameson (@JustDeanJameson)

    The one problem I have with articles of this type is the concept of Jihad. It exists. And there is no equivalent doctrine in Christianity, Judaism, or Hinduism.

  49. For me – it’s not about islam, or Chechnya… At least not yet. It’s about presumption of innocence right now. Conclusions are not possible until it is really EVIDENT that those guys are guilty in the explosions. Why is everyone so sure it’s them? Then the next step comes – to understand their motives. Only after deep analysis of all the testimony and circumstances it is appropriate make generalizations..

    • Dean Jameson (@JustDeanJameson)

      People are sure it’s them because of the fact that they’re, you know, on VIDEO DROPPING THE BAGS THAT EXPLODED AT THE SCENE! My god, people are so freaking PC they can’t even admit that these two did it when they were caught on video doing it, and led police on a violent manhunt, in which they used the SAME TYPE OF BOMB THEY USED TO KILL AND MAIM AT THE MARATHON! How pathetic are you?

  50. Wow!….after reading the comments on this page, is there any wonder as to why this and other tragedies happen in the world?
    Individuals chattering about their views, unable or unwilling to acknowledge the validity of any other as a possible view on the same topic….using stereotypes, religion, bigotry, politics, race, ethnicity, nationalism, medical issues, or any of the thousands of other “filters” that shape the individual world view, from their little spot in the universe…. This is a sad example of why there are so many problems.
    The Boston Marathon bombings is a tragedy that is horrifying, and can not be ignored, denied or debated.
    I was truly disappointed that before any facts had been determined, this was being called a “Terrorist Attack” in the media. When the suspects were thought to be of foreign descent…it was assumed that they were “middle eastern”….and of course that they were Muslim and by default, Al-Querida or Taliban. The facts have been of no consequence in this story. I am saddened to see that the public reaction to this tragedy, has been to vilify an entire group based on a stereotype and to then have other crimes committed against an innocent person that happens to fit the stereotype. This stuff is why we had Japanese internment camps, the KKK, the civil rights fights of the 60′s, various genocides around the world, etc….please use that lump 3 feet above your ass, before you decide to stereotype and get ignorant to your fellow man….

  51. I am from a Muslim country. Most of the times, you cannot reason with a Muslim because they follow the scriptures 100%.. Their sermons in the mosque frequently include insulting other religions and why other religions are so wrong. Learned Muslims always defend their religion saying its a religion of peace and does not promote violence bla bla bla…..might be true, but their mullahs, priests in mosques who are their preachers, often condemn other religions and speak of hatred for other religion, and they dont correct those guys. That is where the corrections should begin. Get rid of religious twats who spread hatred.

  52. This site has more comments than I ever imagined so I apologize if my comment has been previously made by others. ( I do not have time to read all of them, sorry.)

    Re: Malden_ the response by the community and Police Chief, I believe, was very positive and comforting for the abused lady and her family. I think making that known is useful in many ways.

    Without saying there are no abuses by other religions, is there a concerted effort by the Muslim community in the U.S. to condemn Fez Muhammad??

  53. Wow. Has anyone considered that just maybe all these mass murders and terrorists are just plain sick? As in mentally ill. They are hard wired wrong and because the “experts”say there has to be a reason they did what they did, we now have convenient slots to place them in. If they are Muslim then we classify them as jihadist, if they are white they get the excuse that they were bullied or abused, if they are Hispanic they were part of a drug gang or illegal…who knows but for publication purposes we always have to have a category to put them in…how about they are just plain evil people who will now be infamous for the history books. That’s right most of these sick people will go down in history, in fact I bet you that more people could tell you the names of the two Columbine murders, than they could name 1 of the murder victims. I believe that all these people are looking for a way to be glorified. That if they commit a heinous enough act they will be remembered for years, if not decades, even centuries. Maybe, if we stopped putting these people’s names in print and on tv, didn’t go get and spew their life history to the whole world, just simply called them sick evil people some, if not most, of the killings would stop. Of course, I may live in a fantasy world, but I don’t believe religion, up bringing or peer pressure has anything to do with these acts. I think it is hatred and the need to be recognized and feel important that makes them do what they do. Heck, I bet Osama Bin Laden is the number 1 most recognized name in the world.

    I wish everyone would stop bickering over what is at fault here and just look at who is at fault. The Boston bombing wasn’t Islam or Chechnya’s fault, it was the result of 2 mentally ill, sicko nut jobs full of hate who want to be remembered in the history books.

  54. A very good article. I would like to make two points.

    1. I caution the author to avoid using phrases like “right-wing fanatics.” It makes him look partisan and furthers stereotypes which he says he is against. Let us not be naive. Partisans on both sides of the issues care about one thing: furthering their own agendas. They are not interested in an intelligent, thoughtful discourse. I don’t believe the author intended to look overly biased and will assume positive intentions.

    2. It is true that whites will not be condemned as a group for the atrocities committed by some whites, but there are those who will attempt to vilify subgroups, especially those that are typically associated with white males. For instance, if there was an abortion clinic bombing, words like Catholic, conservative, right-wing, redneck, Christian right, etc . . . would show up in the media pretty quickly.

    Other than that I like what I read.

  55. Only one problem with this article: There are 109 calls to action–violent action–in the Quran, many explicitly against Christians and Jews “for Allah”. There are calls to action “for God” in the Bible. While I agree that the majority of practicing Muslims, Jews and Christians aren’t, well, into “smashing the [Muslim} infants on the rocks” (the Bible/Old Testament) their texts they *believe* say to do so. Enough with theologians saying it’s “figurative language.” Sometimes smashing babies against rocks is smashing babies against rocks. We need to lose these established religions and practice compassion because it’s logical–not because a text few read and many say they believe says to…sometimes.

    • Lia,

      And that makes 109 facts that you failed to mention. Instead of putting this undue burden on you, or on me in replying even though I have been through them all already, why don’t you pick your very best one or two examples of unjust violence being commanded anywhere in the Quran? I will then proceed to thoroughly embarrass your ignorant bigotry by showing you that they unambiguously comply with Just War Theory, the most ethical modern standard of warfare on the planet. Wikipedia, among other independent sites, has a pretty good summary if you are not familiar with it. You have 48 hours to respond to my open challenge.

  56. this article seems to suggest that its only whites who are doing this, but thats not true. it can be anyone who is not Muslim and is just ignorant . I was walking outside with hijab one day around jay street, and this african american guy walked past me and said “f*cking muslim, get the f*ck out.” and walked away really fast. pretended not to hear him

  57. Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    I noticed the writer of this article leads tours of Turkey. Does he take tourists to see the part of Turkey where Armenian Christians used to live until they were the victim of the first human Holocaust of the 20th Century courtesy of Turkish Moslems???? Or is he a Holocaust denier when it comes to what befell the Armenian Christians. The only people on the planet who seem to deny it even happened are Turkish Moslems.

  58. This article is deceitful pro-Moslem propaganda. Yes, Islam DOES permit acts of terror against the non-Moslem enemy — and all non-Moslems, according to the Koran and Muhammad are considered enemies. The Koran says that Allah will strike terror into the hearts of the non-Moslems. Muhammad said that he was made victorious through terror. The Koran and the sacred sayings of Muhammad command war against non-Moslems until Islam reigns supreme in the world.

  59. Bullshit. Everybody knew this was the work of Islamic foreign student militants the instant the news broke – and then lo and behold, it was Islamic foreign student militants. Again.

    If you don’t want people to say something bad about you, the first step is to stop doing it.

    • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

      There’s something that smells in this whole case. How could a poor unemployed immigrant live in Cambridge (one of the highest rent areas in Ma.) and own a Mercedes?? There is a terrorist money pipeline here somewhere. Or is it the state of Ma. which is the terrorist enabler (No one seems to want to look at the largesse the corrupt and extremely liberal state of Ma. pours on immigrants.)

  60. They shouldn’t call it white “privilege.” The term is inflammatory and inaccurate. A privilege is by definition something to which a relatively small fraction of the population (relative to total population size, that is) has access. If the majority of the population has it, even for an unfair or random reason like race, then it isn’t a privilege.

    “Privilege” also has connotations of being undeserved. Most of the things that people think of as white privilege–like not having everyone think you’re horrible just because someone else who’s white did something horrible, not having your achievements written off as affirmative action, etc.–are things that should but most importantly CAN be made accessible to everyone, and everyone deserves them. Call it white advantage–it’s an advantage. Call it white imbalance–it’s an imbalance. But it is NOT a privilege.

  61. Syafiq Haiqal

    May God bless the souls of the victims. And as a Muslim, I detest the actions of the perpetrator if it really turns out to be those two “Muslims”. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. And so, religion doesn’t teach people to kill others, but it’s their choice.

  62. We heard all this before. Just like Islam, apologists come in many forms, and at the end it boils down to the simple conclusion. Islam causes hate, fanaticism and inspires terror. Close down Islamic schools, and discourage all countries that practice Shariat. If the world can boycott South Africa for Apartheid, it should boycott Islamism as well.

  63. I have no trouble believing that the local mosque is full of good Americans, because I’ve been there before. I have no trouble believing that CAIR is fair, because I’ve listened to their speakers before.

    But once again, it’s painfully clear that the statement “Islam Forbids Terrorism” only extends to American Muslims, and even among them, it doesn’t quite extend to ALL of them. No disrespect, no stereotyping, but a 9-11 Encore, (or even a Nuclear 9-11 Encore for that matter), is as much an Islamic possibility now as it was back in 2001.

    We have to be honest about that aspect, and (without bigotry or disrespect) start being cautious and watchful. We live in hard times and a hard world.

    • American Moslems are no different from other Moslems. They use the same Koran and the same Sunnah. There is no such thing as “American Islam”. It is only a question of how many Moslems fail to follow the Islamic doctrines of jihad. As for CAIR, that is a Muslim Brotherhood organization, pro-Hamas and virulently anti-Semitic.

  64. It may be true that the bombing suspects were not observing Muslims. It may also be true that Islam forbids the slaughter of innocents.

    But it is also true that an inordinate proportion of terrorist attacks committed globally involve Islam. So clearly there is something in Islam that terrorists, misguided as they may be, are interpreting as a call to, or justification for, acts of violence.

    Hopefully more Muslims will respond as you have responded: By emphasizing the peaceful side of Islam. And hopefully if voices such as yours are lifted more often, the close association of Islam with acts of terror will be broken.

  65. “Kid” is a slang term meaning “young person.” It’s perfectly valid to call a nineteen-year-old a kid. (It is not, however, valid to leave your periods and commas outside the quotation marks or to use more than two exclamation points if you’re writing in American English.)

    My posts have made no mention of trying him as a juvenile. Quite the contrary; I’ve compared him to Leopold, who was tried as an adult. He’s a legal adult and should be tried as one. But he’s a young legal adult and should be treated as one.

    I am not a liar. I said that just because they walked past a mosque once doesn’t mean that Islam has anything to do with this crime, and that is true. The media can’t shut up about Chechnya, so it is also true that they’re trying to paint the criminal as a foreigner when he is American by law. How about you prove that these criminals bombed the marathon because they were Muslim? Or you could wait for the trial when professional prosecutors will do the work for you. Oh wait; they’ll probably ignore his religion because IT IS NOT RELEVANT AND DWELLING ON IT WILL ONLY INSPIRE STUPID PEOPLE TO HURT AND MISTREAT HONEST MUSLIMS.

  66. I call bullsh*t. Mr. Safi conveniently leaves this a discussion about individuals rather than about ideologies that influence billions of people.

    If Christians commit murder, they are VIOLATING the Gospel. Other Christians quickly arrest and punish them. Jesus never hurt anyone and He is our ROLE MODEL whom we are supposed to imitate.

    This is totally different from the situation with Islam. Please examine Islam’s founder, his life and actions as recorded in the Hadith as well as what is written down in the Qur’an. I’m sure the Banu Qurayza would have been happy to know of the existence of Mr. Safi’s point number 6, above.

    Mr. Safi is being disingenuous, just as Professor Said was.

  67. Read the Book of Numbers. There is plenty of violence and justification of violence in the Bible. Almost every ideology tells people to defeat their enemies. Christianity is not immune to this.

  68. Not buying a lot of this. Sure, technically it’s correct that “those closest” say it’s not about religion. And plenty of Islamic scholars say terrorism is unIslamic. But give me a break…there are religious leaders and Islamic organizers who undoubtedly grease the wheels for violence, if they don’t outright condone it, encourage it, or, at times, participate in it. Religion can be violent. A well presented “no-true-scottsman” fallacy doesn’t change that fact.

  69. Indonesia. Largest Muslim country. No Islamic “with sword” conquests ever recorded in history for that country. Go figure:

    [Qur'an 2:257] “There should be no compulsion in religion. Surely, right has become distinct from wrong; … ”

    Islam doesn’t need, never needed, never wanted to spread by any force.

    Muslimsforlife(dot)org – successfully collected 10,000 pints of blood to honor 3,000 dead of 9/11 (by saving 30,000 lives.
    Muslimsforpeace(dot)org – condemning terrorism, promoting Islamic value of loyalty to ones nation, peace, bus-ads and flyers and leaflets to promote the same.

  70. Not about Islam? So it’s just a coincidence that the bombers were muslim, again, just like the potential Canadian train bombing that was thankfully stopped?

    America offers you a chance to move from third world countries for a chance to have decent income for both you and your children’s future. You don’t see Christians running around mosques bombing them in the name of Jesus Christ. Now the fact that you are saying this is not about Islam then If you want to bomb and blow stuff and innocent people please just do it in your own country, since religion shouldn’t matter.

    • You think that America is still the land of opportunity? That one can come here and have a better life than they could in a 3rd world country? Stay tuned. People leaving college are starting work at $20K less than what they did when I graduated….. a long time ago. Three generations are again living in a single home, built to hold a couple and 2-3 kids. I shop for food pantries (using coupons) because I know that pantries need to survive. I may need them someday, especially if SS is cut.

      You might also want to check out the chant from the Vietnam war: Kill a commie for Christ.

  71. In principle these are good arguments, but the reality is not quite the same. It is true that many religions forbid certain acts and yet their most fervent followers still carry them out, but since you chose to focus on Islam let’s discuss that, which brings us to your point #6 and the following quote ” Islamic law does not permit the random, indiscriminate killing of civilians. It is categorically forbidden. The Prophet Muhammad himself forbade the killing of women, elderly, civilians, and religious leaders.”

    Nice idea but over the past 50 years we have had many fundamentalist Muslims practice the exact opposite, and we are not just talking random killings of school kids In France or Russia by “lone wolfs”, we are talking about Muslim clerics specifically calling for the killing of civilians, women and children, suicide bombers on buses and in markets, blowing up discos, and let’s not forget 9/11. I am happy to add the necessary disclaimer that 95% of Muslims are peace loving and that the media does sensationalize but we can not ignore those that find the path to terrorism through Islamic teaching.

  72. Sorry, but you lost me when you characterized those who disagree with you as “right wing fanatics.” If people should not be so quick to rush to judgment, as you are arguing, and so label these two men as fanatics motivated by Islam, why is permissible for you to characterize people with whom you disagree with another such label. Could it be that people on the left have been doing this for so long that they do not even notice when they are doing it and cannot then see the inconsistency in their reasoning? You too have your own bogeymen, only it is those on the right who disagree with you and whom you can so easily dismiss with just one word. It makes me inclined to label you as “just another hypocrite out to justify his point of view”–and I don’t know why I shoud consider the views of a “hypocrite” any more seriously than I would the views of a “right wing fanatic.” You offer just more noise. Just more noise.

  73. I sensed the pain of the Muslims who are not involved being dragged into a sweeping generalization and appreciate the efforts of the moderate ones to condemned actions of a few.

    However let’s face it. There are a lot of baffling questions for us non-Muslims. There are just too many terroristic acts committed by these Muslim terrorists that makes one question why is it when they do their killings for the sake of their martyrdoms, do they rant about Islam and put high sometimes their Koran and that they are doing the will of God? What is in that book ? The Koran itself is loaded with contradictions in the sense that there are passages there that do advocate to treat others right but also has passages that encourages the non-Muslims to pay the tax (jizzya) (? wrong spelling I suppose but you know what I mean) and the killing of the Jews and Christians. It’s there. If you don’t want any misinterpretation on this, then just delete these passages bec this problem has been going on for centuries!.

    You see a simple observation is this: When a Muslim goes to the Arabic, original source of the Koran and becomes more devout, then that’s when we do have a red flag. A good Muslim for me are the ones who don’t really follow what the Koran says. I have a few good Muslim friends and the minute they would start telling me that the Koran is the best unadulterated beautiful book on earth, then maybe that’s the time I will start distancing myself from them. History of MOhammed itself is replete with so much violence in the spread of Islam in Europe and around the world.

    CHristians on the other hand , when they do violence, ,we know they are not followers of Christ as nowhere in the New testament can you see Christ and the other apostles/disciples advocating to smite the Gentiles or non-Jews or non-Christians. When a Christian becomes an ardent follower of Christ, they become more charitable, renouncing worldly goods such as the likes of Mother Teresa, ST Francis of Assisi and a thousand others who had gone before us and who are now working in the world for the poor people. But when he strays far from the Gospels, you see that they become horrors too.

    That’s the big difference. If I have Christian friends and I see them turning to prayer and the Gospels, then the more I would feel more safe and comfortable.

    http://www.fatherzakaria.net/

  74. Obviously there are evil people in all religions as there are many good people as well. One question I have that’s always bothered me and I have never recieved a proper answer to… If Muslims believe that Jesus was a prophet and Muhammed was a prophet why do they hold Muhammed to such a higher degree?

    • Hi Harry! For the majority of Muslims Jesus is seen as the supreme symbol of infinite mercy. Again, the vast majority of Muslims (mainly Sunnis) believe that Jesus will come at the end of the world, and call all people to monotheism (to ‘islam,’ in the etymological, broad, quranic sense: submission to one God).

      Historically, Muhammad’s charisma gradually expanded in many ways. 1. For legal reasons: older Arabic traditions were attributed to him to establish an elastic legal system (see ‘Origins of Islamic Law’, W. Hallaq.). 2.Theological reasons: Every prophet has been associated with a name of God, and Muhammad was seen as the all-inclusive name (parallel to the idea that Islam was the all-inclusive schema which would gather everybody under its banner.) Or he was seen as the aim of the creation, like the fruit comes latest when you plant a tree. (See: ‘Bezels of Wisdom,’ Ibn Arabi (d.1240). Contains an interpretation of 28 prophets and the chapter on Jesus is really exciting.) 3. Ethical reasons: Later generations needed an ideal ethical model, and Muhammad, whose life was know in all details, was the best sacred candidate. Jesus, Moses and others in the Abrahamic tradition are the key figures with Muhammad, and Muhammad is seen as their heir who revived their original universal message.

      The best western source to look at is, in my humble opinion, ‘Following Muhammad’ of Carl W. Ernst.

      Peace and grace,

  75. I am now not positive the place you’re getting your info, however great topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more. Thank you for fantastic information I was in search of this information for my mission.

  76. Diana R Ahmed

    Great article. I would just disagree with your fourth point about the brothers not being “pious” Muslims due to their alleged drinking and partying behaviors. I am surprised to hear this judgmental tone from a follower of Mevlana!
    Also I didn’t think it was very respectful to post the photo of the elder brother and his then-girlfriend, now widow. Regardless of the circumstances she has lost a husband and a father to her daughter and deserves our compassion not contempt and mockery.
    To me this is the essence of our faith.

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