Islam, the San Bernandino shootings, and blanket judgements

Surprise surprise, another mass shooting occurs somewhere in the United States of America. Only this time, the attack was carried out by people who are identified as Muslims. Generally, this means that not only are people talking about gun rights vs gun control again, but they’re also going on about how either Islam is a religion of peace and that the attacks being carried out have nothing to do with Islam, or how it’s another “proof” that Islam is an inherently violent belief system and how they feel they have the right to categorize all Muslims as violent people. Think about it: in the post-9/11 world any attack carried out by individuals who are Muslim use their Islamic faith to justify violence mysteriously compels people to stop seeing Muslims as individuals, and instead as some kind of collective whole. And when that happens I see two sides of how that whole is treated: on one side, you have the conservative right going out of their way to denounce that whole as vicious, evil, and inherently violent regardless of the fact that there are Muslims who are just decent people, and they act as though we’re at war with Islam as a religion rather than simply at war with Islamic terrorists; and before anyone gets on their high-horses on how this is typical of Christian conservatism, I’ve seen this among atheism (I’m looking at Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris) and even in LHP-related circles. One the other side, the “liberal” left go out of their way to not account for any radical or violent individuals as relevant to the Muslim world by trying to say they aren’t actually Muslims and represent nothing about Islam (but never do the same with Christian fanatics).

To be honest, when I hear about this, I feel fed up with the way Muslims are treated by the world around them just because most people are bombarded with stories of Islamic/jihadist fanatics and militias and assume all Muslims are like that. Even though I’m diametrically opposed to Islam as a belief system, I find something wrong with the way we treat Islam, or rather the Muslim community. I think that Islam isn’t a religion of peace anymore than Christianity claims to be a religion based on love, but equally I feel that Islam isn’t a religion based purely on hate or violence, at least anymore than the other monotheistic religions are (frankly I think it’s more about submission to “God” ultimately than peace or hatred, but that’s besides the point), and I think we ought to develop a more nuanced view not just of Muslims I kind of wish Muslims didn’t have to put up with the kind of crap we give them, telling them they have to conform to Western standards of liberalism (which in modern times are proving hypocritical) and that their religion has to change to a more “modern” form. I swear we don’t treat even Christians the way we treat Muslims. With Christians, most of the time we just mock them, although we seem to pay lip service to their religion at the same time. But with Muslims, we always place them under constant suspicion, or outwardly try to paint them as all sunshines and rainbows. I may not be very familiar with the Muslim community, and in my life I’ve only known one, maybe two people who identify as Muslims, but I just can’t help but ask hasn’t it ever occurred to people that most Muslims, for all they know, are a lot like most Christians: they’re raised into a religion established by their peers and family, they just go with it because that’s what they’re taught, but they’re not necessarily devout in the strict sense, and most certainly don’t practice their faith in a way that is as life-destroying to large numbers of people in the same way that the fanatics, the fundamentalists, and the terrorists do.

And there are some people have the nerve to go on about how their religion needs to be changed and reformed in order to suit the audience of modern “society”, or that Muslims should all unite behind a figure of reform, a Martin Luther equivalent. Funny how it’s usually non-Muslims who think they have any claim over the soul of a religion that isn’t theirs to reform! We don’t do this with Christianity. When we accuse Christians of following an outdated set of beliefs, we usually pressure them to convert to atheism instead. But with Muslims, we ask them to get together and reform Islam to suit everyone who isn’t Muslim but assumes all Muslims are fanatics.

It’s this climate that I’m really annoyed with: the climate that seems to follow every violent incident committed by Muslims who use their faith to feed their actions, and all the while we don’t do this with Christianity when Christians attack planned parenthood because they hate abortion, or any other religion when its followers commit violent acts. I am tired of blanket judgement being applied to people who follow a religious identity, even if it pertains to a religion that I would stand opposed to. Why not focus on dealing with violent individuals and leave everyone else to live and practice their religious beliefs in peace and liberty? You know, that thing the West acts like it’s fighting for in the first place.

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7 responses to “Islam, the San Bernandino shootings, and blanket judgements

  1. I think this is all media driven. Terrorism sells. Dun control sells. It gives people something to fight over. It gives the media something to talk about. But how many died on the roads yesterday because some retards had too much to drink? That didn’t make the news. Those people are just as dead.

    I wonder if the Koran is like the bible, in that the bible is so contradictory the christian terrorists can find validation for their beliefs and the “nice” christians can find their own validation.

    Some republican candidates appeared at a function by a christian fundie that thinks gays should be put to death. These people want to be PRESIDENT! http://www.rawstory.com/2015/10/republicans-to-rally-for-liberty-with-pastor-who-defends-death-penalty-for-gays/
    Have other christian leaders repudiated that? Not that I have heard.

    • I would assume Christians do the same thing with the Bible that Muslims can do with the Quran.

      And yes, it’s a worrying trend that Christian leaders don’t bother to complain about members of their own religion doing horrible things.

  2. It is a circle that Islamic State feeds upon, where Muslims attack on behalf of their religion, causing society to attack the moderate/innocent Muslims, causing those Muslims to join Islamic State. There is a method to the Islamic State activities, and there is over a billion Muslims they can slowly draw to their cause supported by a media and society that believes all Muslims are terrorists.

  3. I think a lot of it is the way ISIS is portrayed in the media. The group loves to be televised, so any time our news media talks about ISIS, the leaders of ISIS turn it to their advantage. People tend to think that ISIS is a much larger group than it actually is. Most don’t realize that the group is only about 30,000 strong.

    Also, for those who say Muslims aren’t doing anything about ISIS – look to the countries where you find the most Muslims like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – both of whom are actively engaged in the war against ISIS.

    As for the Christian thing – well, America is 77% Christian with only around 5% Muslim. Of course there is going to be more glossing over the bad things Christians do, even by atheists. It’s gotten to a point where it’s a “Oh, that’s just how Christians are,” kind of mentality, which poses its own kind of danger.

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