Do Not Categorically Blame Muslims for Boston by Robert Ricciardelli

Do Not Categorically Blame Muslims for Boston by Robert Ricciardelli April 20, 2013

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Blaming Muslims for the tragedy in Boston is like blaming the Newtown Massacre on single moms or home schooling because the perpetrator’s upbringing had both of those elements. Right after 9/11 some hate filled Americans murdered a number of people because they “looked Muslim” even though they were actually from a completely different religion. Soon after the report that the Tsarnaev’s claimed to be Muslim, someone blaming Muslims for the Boston terrorist attacks attacked a Muslim woman with an infant.

Many are writing that the Boston bombers, Chechen brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev – were devout Muslims. That is clearly not true as devout Muslims would not do this, only hate filled murderers, regardless of any religious declaration.

I am not a Muslim, I am a Christ follower, and in an attempt to minimize the wave of anti-Muslim violence which may be unleashed, people might want to note that the Tsarnaev’s looked and acted more like Westernized hustlers than devout Muslims. They are alleged drug users, and just 2 days after the Boston terrorist attack they went out and were partying again.

Similarly, the 9/11 hijackers used cocaine and drank alcohol, slept with prostitutes and attended strip clubs, and they did not worship at any mosque. These are hardly the acts of devout Muslims.

More importantly, Muslim scholars tell me that Islam prohibits the killing of innocent civilians. So terrorists are not true followers of Islam, but are using quotes out of context and many not even in the Qu’ran to justify their evil. Those claiming they are committing terrorist acts as Muslims are as credible as the Norwegian murderer or Timothy McVeigh trying to say they were following Christians values. Many members of the Klu Klux Klan claimed to be Christians while murdering those who were not white Americans.

As Christian writer and psychiatrist M. Scott Peck explained, there are different stages of spiritual maturity. Fundamentalism – whether it be Muslim, Christian, Jewish or Hindu fundamentalism – is an immature stage of development. I would add that fundamentalism of any religion can be exclusive, divisive, and very dangerous.

Remember that Adolph Hitler professed to be a Christian, and churches in Nazi Germany mainly supported Adolph Hitler’s unjust fascist policies. And Christian, Jewish and Muslim governments all carry out terror against their own people and then try to blame it on the other guy.

The majority of Muslim sects are peaceful, contemplative, and hurt as much as anyone regarding these tragedies. At the same time, there have been and are even today, violent sects of Christianity. There are Crusaders it seems of religion in every generation that practice hatred and murder that go against the very principles of what they say they believe.

Indeed, a Christian fundamentalist who kills others in the name of religion is much more similar to a Muslim fundamentalist who kills others in the name of his religion than to a Christian who peacefully fights for justice and truth, helps the poor, or serves to bring hope to the downtrodden.

Regardless of the differences in religion, if we can together find peace, it will be even more clear to all that these murderous acts have nothing to do with those trying to live out their faith peacefully. I agree with the picture quote above where the Dalai Lama quoted, “If there can be peace among religions, there can be peace in the world. There are 3 million American Muslims and most all of them are heart broken over these events.

Regarding terrorist activity, The top security experts – conservative hawks and liberal doves alike – agree that waging war in the Middle East weakens national security and increases terrorism. (See this, this, this, this, this and this.)

One of the top counter-terrorism experts recently commented that starting wars against states which do not pose an imminent threat to America’s national security increases the threat of terrorism because:

  • One of the principal causes of terrorism is injury and death to people and families.
  • And its not only war in general as an abstract concept. The methods we’re using to wage war are increasing terrorism.
  • As one example, torture reduces our national security and creates new terrorists.

Unfortunately, we are continuing to indiscriminately kill civilians using drone strikes, and we are continuing to torture innocent people (see this, this, this, and this)

This is not a question of being a “Muslim-sympathizer”. This isn’t about religion at all. I am a Christ follower and it is about caring about what God cares about. He cares about justice, he cares about the issues of our hearts, and he cares about renewing and aligning our heart and minds in Him and not on American politics or fear. Our presuppositions and fear can sometimes lead to murderous intent. It is time for authentic faith, hope, love, mercy, truth, and justice to be kicked up a notch in our hearts.

Just last year, Muslim, Christian, and Jewish leaders gathered together in Washington D.C. to sign a mutual document outlining seven resolutions against prejudice, hatred, and discrimination among the three religious communities. The document acknowledges that outreach is an important tenet of both Islam and Christianity, while at the same time speaking out against theological compromise and encouraging working together for the common good.SEE SEVEN RESOLUTIONS DOCUMENT.

I am thankful that the opportunity for justice came swiftly for Boston while the healing continues. Aim your anger on the right thing, evil itself, and not on the wrong thing, which is any group of people just because somebody who claims to be part of that group commits an evil act. I just met with a Muslim friend and uncontrollable tears flowed at what is happening in America and what this might mean for His children, all Americans, if people do not wake up to the real enemy of humanity, as well as wake up to the real solution for humanity, The Almighty God of Love.

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