Last week, in San Bernardino California, a husband/wife pair armed themselves with just about as much guns and ammo as they could carry, returned to the husband’s work place from which he had just left a Christmas party, and opened fire killing and wounding as many as they could before fleeing.
Again and too soon, our nation is shocked by the news of a senseless tragedy. We pray for the victims and quietly wait for news of who did this and why. Again and too soon, President Obama takes to the airwaves to decry this “gun violence” and repeats his calls for “sensible gun control laws”.
We quickly learned that this was an act of terrorism by radicalized Muslims. Of course President Obama knew this while admonishing us for our lack of “sensible gun control laws”.
I’ve previously blogged about gun control and will likely again but not today. Suffice it to say that no gun laws at all, current or proposed, would have prevented this attack, nor would they have prevented any of the previous terrorist attacks. So why does the president continue with this faux overture? The only logical explanation is that to acknowledge these acts as terrorism would contradict his narrative that his foreign policy is successfully dealing with the terrorist threat. So, he defiantly continues labeling these acts as “workplace violence” or “senseless gun violence”.
Now Donald Trump has called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on”. Wow! That sounds almost fascist, doesn’t it? It depends on your point of view. If you acknowledge the rapidly rising global threat of radical Islamic fundamentalist terrorism, then no, it sounds like a good idea. I watched an Imam on a major news network yesterday say as much. But, you must consider, “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on”. That must be defined, not to satisfy the message or messenger, but to satisfy our own national security requirements. Donald Trump has only repeated what most of us have been saying already, that we need to carefully vet immigrants. Our current immigrant vetting process is demonstrably inadequate. Case in point, the wife terrorist in the San Bernardino attack was vetted with ease.
All this has led to a general fear of Muslims as terrorists. We know that not all Muslims are terrorists but most of us don’t know more than that; that not all Muslims are terrorists. That’s ambiguous to say the least. Not all but how many? Where? This is the problem. All we know of Muslims is what we see/hear on the news and lately that’s all been about these terrorist acts. If it looks like a duck… But, we are a free nation of immigrants of all races and religions. A blind fear of any one of them threatens the strength of this nation which is based largely on this diversity.
There is only one way to productively and positively address this conundrum and it must begin within the American Muslim community itself. They must not remain silent! They must come out in force against terrorism, radical Islamic fundamentalism and violence of any kind. Until we see/hear more of peaceful Muslims living among us in pursuit of life, liberty and happiness than we see/hear of Muslim terrorists, “they” cannot be a part of “we” and we will never be free of fear of them.