Earlier today I was forwarded an email from someone who really should have known better. I suspect he wanted to gauge my reaction. It is a chain letter that was created to incite fear and hatred. It was entitled "Is the World Just Plain Stupid?" The SPAM article points out why there should be profiling of Muslims between the ages of 17-40 and it includes the comment:
"So, to ensure we Americans never offend anyone, particularly fanatics intent on killing us, airport security screeners will no longer be allowed to profile certain people. They must conduct random searches of 80-year-old women, little kids, airline pilots with proper identification, secret agents of the President's security detail, 85-year old Congressmen with metal hips, and Medal of Honor winning and former Governor Joe Foss, but leave Muslim Males between the ages 17 and 40 alone because of profiling."I replied to the email by sharing some random thoughts in my head.....
I'm not sold that it is completely a Muslim Issue. I think young men in their mid-teens and early 20's are impressionable.....and I think that those under 40 are more likely to fight for a cause they believe in or that is created by desperate living conditions. I think a handful of extremists are using their religion as a conduit to manipulate others and as areas become unstable....such as Afghanistan & Iraq, recruiting becomes easier. As with most Easterners, Muslims are very much family oriented and they are brought up in a more collective thought as opposed to individual thought. They are willing to do whatever is necessary to better provide for the family. Sacrifice is necessary and expected. I imagine there are plenty of Muslims and non-Muslims who are desperate and who can become manipulated into believing that exchanging their life for the sake of the family's well being is justified.
I often wonder about missionaries going to the various corners of the world telling other cultures that their religion is bad and that if they do not accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, then they will be damned to hell. If these same Christians hear the reverse, how kind are they to whomever is delivering the message? Sure there are plenty of well meaning kind souls who do not think through what they are saying. One example is a devout woman I know well who told me one day that the reason the West is so prosperous as compared to the East is because of our demographics. She went on to explain that the West was for the most part Christian and the East is not. This proves that by taking Jesus Christ into our hearts that He is thereby rewarding the West. OK...won't go there, suffice it to say I disagree on a point or two.
Many groups have committed heinous acts of terror. Just a few of these groups include the Sons of Liberty, la Terreur, the Irish Republican Army, The People's Will in Russia, Ku Klux Klan, Mau Mau Uprising, The Weather Underground, the Palestine Liberation Organization, various paramilitary and guerrilla groups, the Nazis, Slave traders, etc ....and we will not discuss the actions of White Europeans toward the native populations of North & South America and Africa during colonization.......the tide seems to ebb and flow and someone always feels the need to step up to the plate to commit more atrocities in the name of progress. Too many people look at their fellow man and scowl at the differences. We are all so very much alike as a species - in that we are able to think and breathe and love and hurt - that it dumbfounds me why variety is not more appreciated .
For the record I do see a need for profiling, but not in such a way that incites hatred.
I received a second email in response to my reply while I was typing this up:
I do not disagree with your thoughts. Most Muslims are great loving, peaceful people with strong family associations. But I do believe "radical Muslim extremists" (including some radical clerics) are influencing the ignorant, poor and impressionable young Muslims. I believe these radicals are destroying the world as we know it to be today. They threaten their own Muslim people who disagree with them. The majority of good Muslims who are threatened are afraid to face the radicals. UU Fellowship had a member who was an Iranian. He said his family left Iran because "Those people are crazy!"
I am very concerned about the world my grandchildren will live in"
I welcome any and all thoughts on this subject.