#Texaschurchmassacare: Church Shooting or Terrorism?

church 2First of all my thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families and friends of this terror attack on a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas yesterday.

There are so many angles to look at this terror attack.

It is being called a “gun shooting”, “gun violence” and “massacre”. I have yet to hear the T-word- terrorism to describe it.

President Trump has called it “an act of evil”, but has yet to call this a hate crime, let alone an act of terrorism. The news agencies did not report this as an act of terrorism.

That’s when I figured the culprit was not a Muslim, before the identity of the culprit was eventually revealed. How could it be an act of terror if a white male is involved? If a white male is involved, he must be crazy, not a terrorist.

Lo and behold, President Trump confirmed it. CNN.com reported this morning:

President Donald Trump said Monday that he believes the Texas church shooting was caused by a “mental health problem,” not an issue with gun laws in the United States.

“Mental health is your problem here,” Trump said, noting that “based on preliminary reports” the shooter was “a very deranged individual.”

“This isn’t a guns situation,” Trump said. “This is a mental health problem at the highest level. It’s a very, very sad event.

Not a hate crime, not an act of terrorism
No hate crime. No terrorism. And no, gun violence is not the problem. He is being consistent in that when a Muslim anywhere in the world commits an act of shooting the first thing he utters is how these terrorists must be dealt before the facts are known. I am not being critical of the president just because his name is trump, but because in situations like this, the nation looks up to its president for guidance and leadership.

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I had predicted (like so many others) on my post after the Las Vegas terror attack that if no gun control laws are passed, we will continue to see these acts of violence. This is how the post ended.

If we don’t act and if our congress does not act, then unfortunately whatever happened in Vegas will not stay in Vegas.

Unfortunately, it did not take long to see another senseless gun-related mass shooting.

Various theories are being passed around as to why he opened fire on innocent worshippers, gathering at a Sunday service in a small town in Texas. I would not speculate on these as the authorities have not confirmed any of these whisperings on social media.

Regardless of his motives, one thing is crystal clear- not even the places of worship are safe, not even in America.

In my last post on the Ten Commandments, I pointed out the sanctity of life as ordained by God Almighty.

“You shall not murder.” Exodus 20:13, Deuteronomy 5:17

I compared that to similar message from the Qur’an.

On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. The Qur’an 5:32

The protection of places of worship is commanded in the Quran, Allah being the Arabic for God, not an Arabic God.

…And were it not that Allah checks the people, some by means of others, there would have been demolished monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which the name of Allah is much mentioned. And Allah will surely support those who support Him. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might. The Qur’an 22:40

Regardless of who the culprit or his motives are, the unfortunate reality is that our country has become a very divided country. We think ourselves first and foremost as Democrats, Republicans, whites, blacks, Muslims, Jews, Christians, leftists, rightist and so on. We see the same problem so differently, with our own lens rather than trying to come together as one nation to figure out how can we get along, and solve problems.

How can we prevent the gun violence? Indeed it is not just the guns that kill. Terrorists are finding other ways to kill- using trucks and cars to ram into people. But the fact remains that guns are one of the most commonly used weapon in mass murders.

And why do we need semi automatic weapons is beyond me. I do not think it is meant for hunting the birds.

How do we stop the cycle of hate? Mental health may have contributed to this particular murderous attack, but the underlying factors do include hate, anger, mistrust and not knowing how to channel your anger, combined with rather easy access to weapons of mass destruction.

We need to engage with each other in a dialogue. We need to reach out to others who are not like us, or do not think like us. People from both sides of the gun control/2nd amendment rights need to have honest dialogue. The goal must be not to prove each other wrong but how do we come together to find solutions, to prevent further violence.

After Las Vegas, President Trump stated it is too early to talk about gun control since it would dishonor the memory of the victims. Then time passed, and nothing got done.

The time for a conversation is now when the memories are still fresh, the wounds still gaping and hearts still aching.

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