: Jul 19, 2015

The Chattanooga Killings Aren’t Terrorism

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One of the more level-headed articles on the recent killing of four marines in Chattanooga appeared on Slate’s website.

The article begins with the title:
” The Chattanooga Killings Aren’t Terrorism. They are a rational, horrific act of war.” And I highly suggest that you all take some time out to read what this author has to say.

Blanket condemnations by well-meaning Muslim civic groups and mosques do have a role to play, but they will not stop the circle of violence. If we truly want to stop such violent acts (and I unequivocally want to see a world in which people around the globe are not getting killed in such a manner), then we need to be brave enough to realize *why* such acts are taking place in the first place. It is truly a difficult, perhaps even impossible, argument to articulate in a small amount of time.

Muslims that sympathize with such acts need to see the broader picture and ask themselves if the repercussions, both domestically and abroad, are worth it. If they were to do so, they would understand why the vast majority of respected ulama around the world claim that such vigilantism is un-Islamic and haram. Non-Muslims who continue to blame the religion of Islam need to ask themselves why such acts are only happening relatively recently, in a small handful of countries. Once they do some research, they will realize that these acts are politically motivated, stemming from many grievances of a political nature that involve the foreign policies of their countries, and that these acts are not coming from a purely religious, apolitical, reading of the Quran.

Such a nuanced perspective requires critical thinking, and an unbiased mind. Both Muslim sympathizers of such acts, and right-wing jingoistic ‘patriotic’ nationalists, simply cannot rise above the black-and-white world view that they have already trapped themselves into. And each act of terror or violence from either side only adds more fuel to their one-sided world view.

I find it ironic that I get extreme hate from two diametrically opposed groups, many times on the same day! The sympathizers of these acts routinely threaten me with assassination, or wish me to Hell, or make takfir of me (or do all three). The far right has been engaged in a vicious and well-financed battle to smear my name, get me fired from my job, intimidate me, and yes, also send me death threats! Each side projects onto me (and others like me) their own stereotypes, all the while betraying their ignorance and fanaticism.

The world would be a better place if all people educated themselves rather than blindingly fall into groupthink. But alas! “Say: Alhamdulillah. And (know) that most of them do not think” [Ankabut; 63].


The Chattanooga Killings Aren’t Terrorism

According to local and federal officials, Thursday’s bloody assault in Chattanooga, Tennessee, was ruthless and deranged. The U.S. attorney says investigators are treating the attacks, committed by a lone gunman at a military recruiting station and a Navy and Marine Corps Reserve center, as a possib…



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