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Muslim and Christian Terrorism

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the former Anglican archbishop of Cape Town and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for his work against South African apartheid, asked the media on Wednesday to be more careful in their choice of words when reporting on religious conflict.

Tutu, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, said that broad understanding of trouble spots was often complicated by the language used to describe the activities of people or religions involved in them.[...]

Addressing journalists in the audience, Tutu called for tolerance and understanding of religions.

"I would hope that you in the media would be passionate about letting people judge for themselves, that you would be careful about some of the language that you do actually use," he said.

"'Muslim terrorism' - have you ever read anywhere 'Christian terrorism'? - as if Islam propagates violence, but you have never spoken about what happened in Northern Ireland as Christian terrorism," he said.

"Fundamentally there is no faith that I know that propagates violence, that says it's a good thing to oppress anybody."[...]

Tutu added, however, that understanding different religions required peoples of all faiths to understand different perspectives.

"We Christians ought to get off our high horse and learn to be a great deal more humble, when you look at our history, the bloody things that we did in the name of religion," he said.

Asking the conservative christian right to get off their high horse, after they've been lead for the last six years by Cowboy Bush riding the range, is pretty much a futile effort. These christian soldiers are quite happy with their pious position of power, and damn the hypocrisy that comes with it.

Pushing the right out of power in Washington is the only way we're going to change this nation's attitude towards the Muslim faith, and this is a vital, absolutely necessary step towards fighting terrorism. We need to show the world that we are no longer a nation being lead by religious bigots.


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Comments (6)

Paul Hamilton:

My own belief is that fundamentalism -- of ANY stripe -- tends to lead to violence and oppression. It's the attitude that YOU are superior because of your beliefs and that THEY are evil because they worship a false god. And of course evil must be wiped out because that's what the deity wants.

Another thing that seems to be common to all fundamentalists is the attitude that the world is out to get them. I constantly read things about how Christianity is "under attack" in America and how if the Muslims don't take over, then the atheists will. Every single night on the news -- the NEWS -- there's someone saying that "God saved them" from some disaster, or "he's with God now" if someone has died, or in the case of last night, how "God will get them" when somebody stole a handicapped guy's specially-equipped car.

So maybe the best thing we can do is start to view religions in terms of the ATTITUDES of the believers, not solely what they believe in.

ke_future:

lee, are you actually saying that muslim terrorism is the result of christian bigotry?

Paul Hamilton:

I'll let Lee speak for himself, but if I might answer that as well, I believe that fundamentalist religion is defined by hostility to and suspicions of other beliefs. So you may have imams teaching Islamic children that evil Jews and Christians are hostile to Islam and must be confronted. Or you may have religious leaders in a Christian nation proclaiming that Muslims are, by nature, primitive and violent and they'll get us if we don't get them first.

So it works both ways. So long as the radicals are in charge of the agenda, violence will be the outcome.

Lee Ward:

"lee, are you actually saying that muslim terrorism is the result of christian bigotry?"

No, ke - its never as simple as you conservatives try to make things out to be...but when you have Bush invading Iraq under false pretenses, and at the same time you have religious and political leaders in the US painting broad strokes condemnations against entire nations of people, simply because of the acts of a few hard-core nutcake extremists, it adds up.

But since you specifically asked about christian bigots, here's some examples:

"We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."
--Columnist Ann Coulter, September 2001

"We're not attacking Islam but Islam has attacked us. The God of Islam is not the same God. He's not the son of God of the Christian or Judeo-Christian faith. It's a different God, and I believe it [Islam] is a very evil and wicked religion."
--Franklin Graham, November 2001

"[Muhammad was] a demon-possessed pedophile."
--Rev. Jerry Vines, former president, Southern Baptist Convention, June 2002

"And I will tell you Allah is not Jehovah, either. Jehovah's not going to turn you into a terrorist that'll try to bomb people and take the lives of thousands and thousands of people."
--Rev. Jerry Vines, June 2002

"I think it might be a good idea to get them [Muslims] on some sort of hobby other than slaughtering infidels."
--Columnist Ann Coulter, interview with Katie Couric, June 2002

"The Muslim population is going down!.We are on God's side. This is not a war between Arabs and Jews. It's a war between God and the devil."
--Televangelist Benny Hinn, July 2002

"I think it's [terrorism's] more mainstream. And it's not just a handful of extremists. If you buy the Qur'an, read it for yourself, and it's in there."
--Franklin Graham, on "Hannity & Colmes", August 2002

"I believe the Qur'an teaches violence. It doesn't teach peace, it teaches violence."
--Franklin Graham, Beliefnet interview, August 2002

"This man [Muhammad] was an absolute wild-eyed fanatic. He was a robber and a brigand."
--Pat Robertson, on "Hannity & Colmes", September 2002

"I think Mohammed was a terrorist."
--Jerry Falwell, October 6, CBS 60 Minutes

"I like our President but he's dead wrong when he says Islam or the Quran is a book of love and peace. Mr. President, that has got to be the most asinine, idiotic, ridiculous, utterly ludicrous statement that I've ever heard in my life.

"...You know what we ought to do? We ought to take every single Muslim student in every college in this nation and ship them back to where they came from. And we ought to tell every other Muslim living in this nation, if you say one word, you're gone. You're gone."
--Jimmy Swaggart, Jimmy Swaggart Ministries, November 10, 2002

"Somehow I wish the Jews in America would wake up, open their eyes and read what is being said about them...This is worse than the Nazis...Adolf Hitler was bad, but what the Muslims want to do to the Jews is worse."
--Pat Robertson, Christian Broadcasting Network, November 11, 2002

These assholes need to be dethroned.

ke_future:

thanks, lee. i was actually going to accuse you of simplicity, if that was what you were trying to say. i was just trying to figure out what your point was other than you hate 1)religious people, 2) conservatives, 3) republicans.

while Tutu is to be commended in that he wants peace, he should also be aware that there are some sects of Islam (and yes Christianity) that do *indeed* preach violence. that it is okay to kill the unbeliever. i think these people are wrong from whatever side they come from.

but, if a person is a terrorist, and they blow things up in the name of their religion, how would you propose that we label them? i would argue that in the case of al'qada and hamas muslim, for instance, muslim terrorist is a very good description of them.

honestly, where are the muslim religious leaders preaching against violence? i have yet to hear of one.

oh, and lee, which positions of power do these people hold that they need to be dethroned from? i'm a conservative, i'm support the war in iraq, yet i don't listen to these people. okay, coulter sometimes just because it makes me laugh. but the others? nope. don't even know who some of them are

Lee Ward:

"but, if a person is a terrorist, and they blow things up in the name of their religion, how would you propose that we label them?"

I don't 'propose' we label them anything. I've passed on Tutu's views on reporting in the media, which make a lot of sense to me - what you label people as is of absolutely no concern to me. You probably thought 'islamofaciscism' was a great choice of names, and so did George Bush until the world butch-slapped some sense into his head. Hmm, I know - call them terrorists?

Or would you like to explain why 'terrorist' is inadequate and you need to attach their religion to their label?

"which positions of power do these people hold that they need to be dethroned from?"

The religious conservative political machine is widely thought of as a significant force behind King George's ascension to the throne here in the US elections, and the religious fanatics like those quoted above hold a considerable amount of influence over conservative fatheads who can't think for themselves, and have to be told how to vote. I think that needs to change.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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