Finally, we have someone recognizing that religion has nothing to do with it.
When two men brutally hacked off-duty soldier Lee Rigby to death and threw his mutilated body in the streets of London, England, British Prime Minister David Cameron said that the “Terrorist act was not just an attack on Britain and on the British way of life. It was also a betrayal of Islam and of the Muslim communities who give so much to our country.”
Cameron’s words could not be more true.
Acts such as the horrific murder of Rigby are not done by religions, they are done by people. That makes the people bad, not the religion. It is people, not religions, who should suffer the consequences of these actions.
This means that only the people committing these acts should be held responsible, their punishments should not extend to people of a broader community because of the actions of a small group of misled believers.
The media often uses the term ‘Islamic terrorists’ to refer to anyone group that commits terrorist acts and can be tied, however remotely, to Islam. More often than not, this phrase is used before such ties can be proven.
In any case, it is an unfair moniker. It ties a small group of people who perform heinous acts to the entire Islamic community, whether they support them or not.
If the shoe were on the other foot – if these acts were not being committed by minorities in our country – it is doubtful we would hear the same kind of labels being used.
If say, a young white Christian male went and blew up a mall, we would not, in our predominately Christian nation, hear on the news, “And it appears that today’s mall explosion was caused by a Christian terrorist” even if the man claimed to be acting in the name of his religion.
Yes, there are those who do claim to commit terrorist acts ‘in the name of X.’ That does not mean their claims are valid.
If a man robs a bank and claims to be doing it in the name of Walt Disney, we would not label everyone who watched The Lion King as a thief. Granted, it is a ridiculous example, but that is kind of the point. Why should religion be any different? Why should the acts of a small group of criminals (because in the end, that is what they are, people who broke the law) condemn a larger, semi-connected group?
They shouldn’t. End of story.