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Muslims bad...Christians good

I recently engagd in a civil discussion with an acquaintance of mine, a conversation between two gentlemen with some views they shared others not. His premise was that all Muslims were fanatics because one of the basic tenets of their religion (Islam) was to reject, and even kill “infidels” defined as “non-believers (in the Muslim faith). I told him that I know there are a lot of good Muslims just as there are a lot of Good Christians (g/G), fanatics in the former hypocrites in the latter, and while I do not fear the Christian Right nearly as much as the Muslim Fanatics, their failure (Christians) to be part of the solution rather than contributing to the problems renders them dangerous as well.

I once thought that the danger was because Muslims did not understand us, we people of the West with our fast cars and big houses and fancy clothes and wild lifestyles. If they could only listen and learn they would understand. That is why I was so perplexed by “homegrown terrorists” individuals born here or who came here as children or as young men who lived amongst us and went to school with us and walked our streets and our malls and then literally went crazy because they saw something on the internet that Radicalized them. Turned them into mad dogs who were bent on wounding and killing innocent civilians as long as they were American. The Boston Bombers, that Mateen fellow in the Gay Nightclub in Orlando, the shoe bomber. There’s all this talk that this 18 year old Somalian committed a terrorist act, he was an instrument of ISIS. Why? Because he was Muslim, and kills civilians with a car and a knife, tools recommended by his ISIS Internet Friends? This 18 year old kid from Somalia via Pakistan already earned his Associate Degree and is seen jumping for joy on stage. He met his goal, the American Dream to earn a degree. WTF happened between then and now? To RUN OVER college kids, ones he walked to class with. Then jump out with a butcher knife and stab them. It doesn’t get more personal than that. Is he a terrorist? Any more than any idiot who grabs a knife or a gun and starts stabbing or shooting? Is it the act or the religious background that affixes them with the label? I will tell you one thing. And this applies to Cuba and Russia and every other country out there as well as to the individual members of religious or ethnic or racial groups. It also applied to the “potential school shooters” I was trained to be on the lookout for as a school psychologist who trained others how to conduct Threat Assessments on “crazy kids.” The WORST thing you could do was to identify them, treat them differently, stigmatize them and FURTHER ISOLATE them. That was a guaranteed way to force them into a corner where the only way out with nothing to lose was to fight, to hurt to KILL. We were trained to reach out to these kids, include them, help them, make them feel a part of the school culture. The same applies to Muslims. This kid, he ranted that he was tired of the ways Muslims were being treated. Know what my first thought was? Thank you Donald Trump. You have contributed to the first act of terror attributed to your hateful rhetoric, demonizing ALL Muslims, and now here is one who saw the writing on the wall and came out fighting.

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