There are two subjects that the authorities and the press in the United States and much of Europe will go to any length to deny, anti-Semitism and terrorism, especially Islamic driven terrorism. The second, terrorism, has been written about in countless articles. One glaring example was the shooting attack at the Soldier Readiness Processing Center of Ft. Hood on November 5, 2009, where thirteen were murdered and twenty-nine left injured. Disregarding the fact that Major Nidal Malik Hasan has admitted his attack was religiously motivated and that he carried out the attack as his contribution to Jihad and was heard to be shouting “Allahu Akbar!” the entire time while he was systematically moving from one person to the next, shooting as many as he was able, yet the entire assault has been classified as a case of workplace violence and not at all related or driven by terroristic motivations. The same has been the case in repeated numbers of such attacks. The second motivation which the press and authorities refuse to call by name is anti-Semitism whether it is an attack on somebody because they are a Jew or the attack is motivated against Israel due to its Jewish roots.
The latest of these instances occurred recently at Michigan State University at an off-campus party. It was initially reported that two young men walked up to the victim and asked if he was Jewish. Upon his answering in the affirmative the two executed Nazi salutes while chanting “Heil Hitler” and claiming to be members of the KKK and then knocked nineteen-year-old student Zachary Tennen unconscious and then stapled his mouth shut. East Lansing, Michigan Police are still investigating the assault and stated that they did not believe the attack was a hate crime, and privately told the Tennens that they believed the fight was over a girl. Police said in a statement they had interviewed two witnesses and identified a suspect, though the incident was still under investigation. With the evidence made available, this begs the question of how far must one go in order to commit a hate crime against somebody of Jewish heritage? If asking if somebody is Jewish and then, when they have identified their victim as a Jew, the attackers adopt Nazi salutes while yelling “Heil Hitler” and then attacking their victim is not sufficient to qualify an assault as anti-Semitic and a hate crime, then what more is required? Such ignoring of evidence in order to avoid admitting that an anti-Semitic hate crime has been committed is beyond the cusp of all that is reasonable.
The recent murder of a Rabbi and three young children who were students at a Jewish school in Toulouse, France was also classified as not a hate crime initially. France 24 National News referred to the murders and shooting as a “National tragedy” and not as a hate crime. Eventually, the investigation turned up that the same terrorist had attacked and murdered three French soldiers who were of North African heritage. It was eventually revealed that the motives for all the shootings were linked as the murderer believed he was killing those who served the infidel and the soldiers were considered by the murdering terrorist as traitors serving the infidel. But, of course these shootings were neither anti-Semitism nor terrorism, just simply a disgruntled and mentally challenged individual.
The two challenges in our world today that are threatening to unravel our civilization are hatred and terrorism. If we refuse to name and properly identify these acts when they are committed we will never be able to defeat these evils that are growing among us. Those who are committing these horrific crimes against civilization and humanity know full well what drives their acts and what they feel in their hearts. They have no problem even calling their acts for what they are and yet our societies are in such a state of denial that we refuse to even hear their declarations of deep hatred and violent filled motives. We continue on this path of denial at our own risk and we risk all that we have attained as a civilization and as a culture if we continue to dismiss hatred as simply accidents or mere insanity. Just because a person commits actions we cannot understand and we would classify as being driven by ideals and ideas that are insane does not make those who follow those ideals and ideas as their true path into insane people. They are sane and logically following something they honestly believe and are totally committed to and those are the acts of a sane person no matter how insane we find their acts and motivations.
The real source of our problem is the seeming inability of our societies to understand other societies which are foreign and alien to ours. We appear to be unable to walk a mile in the other’s shoes, as the saying goes. As long as we insist on applying our societal norms to the acts of those who follow a belief system that is totally alien and contrary to our own, we will never understand why these acts of violence are being perpetrated against us and will be unable to resist or prevent further actions against our way of life. We have to understand that just because we do not believe that religion can drive anybody in the modern world to murder for their religion does not mean that everybody in the world also stands for similar beliefs. It is completely likely, and with the evidence I have seen, extremely likely that there are people who believe that it is sanctified to murder in the name of their religion and to expand their religion and way of life to everybody on the planet. We are not all that many years removed from when we in the West had similar beliefs ourselves. We conquered the New World and forced our religious beliefs on many of the inhabitants on the American continents, on all of the North, South and Central Americas. We fought numerous wars with Muslims over the Holy Lands during the Middle Ages and beyond. The United States fought a religiously motivated war when we defeated the Barbary Pirates who felt their religion demanded that they impose their will by force on all who were not of their faith. As sorry as it may be to realize, but people murdering and conquering for their religion has not yet been erased from our planet and as long as anybody believes in violence for their religion we all have a serious problem which must be named and brought out into the light and confronted. Acceptance of all religions may be the cornerstone of our countries, as it especially is in the United States, but it has not always been so in all of the countries which now follow such theories. The United States fought its War of Independence over taxation and religious freedom. Much of Europe did not realize full religious freedom until after World War I. Secular societies and acceptance of all is a very new concept and has not been long accepted even in much of the current societies who now follow such a virtuous concept. Until the belief in universal acceptance and freedom of choice becomes universally accepted by each and every society and religious institution in this wide, wonderful and still too varied world, we will need to defend this enlightened idea as not all believe such acceptance is enlightened, some believe only those who believe exactly what they believe have received true enlightenment. In a way, we are trying to apply our idea of enlightenment to people who simply have a different idea as to what is enlightenment. Maybe a day will come where everybody can agree as to what is enlightenment. If we wish universal acceptance to be that unified enlightenment, then we are going to have to defend that idea against those who oppose universal acceptance. To fight those who oppose universal acceptance, we must be ready, willing and able to identify those who do not believe in universal acceptance and be ready, willing and able to fight for our ideals against those who oppose us in whatever field of battle they choose. If it be by debate, wonderful; if it be by the sword, very unfortunate but we may not be allowed to choose the arena in which this battle will be fought. Are you ready, and the next person?
Beyond the Cusp