ISIS asks huge ransoms for those they hold prisoner, and if they don’t get the money, they kill by beheading and filming the beheading to show what they can do if monies aren’t paid up. A few Americans have been beheaded when USA has refused to fill ISIS’ coffers, while prisoners of other nationalities have been saved because their countries handed over cash to ISIS. ISIS is about money, as Kareem Abdul-Jabar observes in “Paris was not about religion” in TIME magazine January 26th 2015. I’ll add power, too. Power to control those weak of mind, and those in search of a cause, or purpose.
Abdul-Jabar raises an excellent point in his article: when the KKK or Klu Klux Klan burns a cross in a black family’s yard, prominent Christians aren’t required to explain how it ‘isn’t’ a Christian act. Most people realize that the KKK doesn’t represent Christian teachings. And acts like Paris [and elsewhere] are performed by thugs disguising themselves as Muslim much like bank robbers who wear masks of presidents to rob. We don’t really think it’s the actual president robbing the bank, do we?
Similarly, if someone wears a Jesus mask to rob a bank does the world go up in arms and think that the Christian god did the robbing or blame all the followers of that god – Christians – in the world? If they did, then Hollande, Obama, Cameron, Merkel etc who run the world would all be terrorists. But we don’t even pause to ask such a question, or even think of it, whereas we don’t hesitate to blame Muslims for all acts and crimes of terrorism. Terrorism as a descriptor does not enter the mind of anyone in France, America or Germany etc when a white American student opens fire on 26 children or when a white PhD student kills off 12 theater goers, superhero batman-style, armed with the sophisticated machinery and whose apartment looked like an arms factory, or when a Norwegian white man who is fascist, anti immigrant, and christian kills 8 people, then takes a boat over to another venue and kills another 68 people. Hitler was not a terrorist with all the deaths he caused nor Lenin who carried out the Red Terror, but was still not known as a terrorist. They were all Christians, but not terrorists, or radicalized Christians or christian jihads.
Why are jihadists or extremist actions recognized exclusively as Muslim domain? Granted that some would believe that it s a ‘Muslim thing’ because those committing murderous acts recite Allahou Akbar which most recognize as Islamic. But why can’t it be due to insanity as exists in USA when someone like Terence Holmes or Adam Lanza kills terrorist style? Is the christian, logic-thinking world sure about the Kouachi brothers and Coulibaly being 100% sane or of sound mind?
The world, especially Europe, but particularly France in the face of the recent Charlie hebdo attack, and the discontentment and alienation of 5 million Arabs in France, must seek to disassociate Islam from terrorism, and refuse the confusion or conflation of Muslim and terrorist. As Manuel Valls suggested recently [Braden Hoyette in Huffington post “French Prime Minister Manuel Valls: we are at war against terrorism and radical Islam” on 1/10/2015]: French compatriots and citizens who are Muslim by confession and culture are also victims of terrorism. Malala, the 200 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram, the school children just shot in Pakistan, the women raped and girls genitally mutilated everyday…the list goes on. There’s fundamentalism everywhere in history and the present, in god-fearing and peace-loving religions like Hinduism, Christianity and even Buddhism.
Antoine St Exupery’ lesson is very pertinent here and beautifully said : C’est une folie de hair toutes les roses parce q’une épine vous a piqué… C’est une folie de condamner toutes les amitiés parce qu’une d’elles vous a trahi…
Translation : it’s foolish to hate all the roses because one has pricked you…it is foolish to condemn all friendships because one of them has betrayed you ».
And it is foolish to blame everyone whose god is Allah if a few who believe in Islam have committed atrocities. It is foolish to condemn all Muslim because a few have radicalized and committed massacres. That is the essence of conflating terrorists with Muslims or KKK with Christians. Neither confusion or association is just nor does it serve any purpose but to create further divide.