ISIS and “Islamic-terrorists”


My first inclination is to agree with President Obama when he leaves Islamic out while talking about ISIS. After all, some Republicans have had taken this to mean that Obama is an apologist for radical Islamic terrorists which is such a simplistic overkill that I automatically default to Oh, shut up you stupid shit, Obama is right, it is not Islam that is the problem, it is these particular wackos. Still, as I think about it, I am starting to think Obama is wrong.

Let me quickly say that I like Obama – alot – and don’t think he is too soft on ISIS. I do understand that Obama wants to be clear that the United States is not in a war on Islam, itself, however, ISIS think they are Muslims. I think that Obama – and probably alot of people who haven’t thought about it  – is confusing any one Muslim or group of Muslims or Violent Islamic Fundamentalists with All Muslims. Of course they are not. They only represent themselves. But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t Muslim.

As an aside, the whole thing of labeling somebody we don’t like as a Terrorists is lazy and mis-informative. Why are they terrorists? because they behead people? The Saudis beheaded 79 people in 2013 alone, publicly in a square, in downtown Riyadh. Is it because they behead people and made a tape of it to terrorize potential future targets? If killing people to terrorize the survivors, almost everybody at war is a terrorist. The whole point of our Shock and Awe campaign in Iraq was to scare the survivors. That is why we publish videos of our smart bombs, accurately, killing people; to terrorize. So, when I use Terrorist here, it is just because it is the conventional tag and I am too lazy to come up with a more accurate name. End aside.

But being Muslim isn’t what makes  ISIS Islamic Terrorists. Doing what they are doing in the name of Islam, because of their Islam – granted, it is only their Islam – is what makes them Islamic Terrorists. Timothy McVeigh is a Christian but he is not a Christian Terrorist because he didn’t blow up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in the name of his Christianity. Paul Hill, the Army of God killer who killed Dr. John Britton and James Barrett at their abortion clinic, is a Christian Terrorist because he killed as a result of his idea of Christianity and he killed in the name of Jesus.



One thought on “ISIS and “Islamic-terrorists”

  1. Your post and illustration (a photo you took?) bring to mind an appropriately titled book by Sam Harris, “The End of Faith”. His rather frightening tome preaches that our tolerance of faith has blinded us to the consequences of that act. Not all religions are created equal (some are radically intolerant of others) so just where do we draw the line between good faith and radical fundamentalist extremism (i.e. terrorism)? Even benign religions can be taken too literally. I believe Mr. Harris is not very tolerant in drawing that line; perhaps for good reason. After all, how can someone be a good, true believer, unless they have faith in the ENTIRE enchilada (Bible, Koran, etc)?
    Naturally his work incites plenty of controversy and I thought you (a risk-taking blogger) might be interested in his response to such controversy. His thoughts on Islam, prefaced with a discussion of defamation are here:
    What are your thoughts on his work?

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