Making sense of it all

"A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind, and won’t change the subject" – Winston Churchill

The allied war machine, a little rusty, is turning once again, this time in an attempt to rid the world of terrorism – loosely defined by my Oxford Dictionary as "organized violence to achieve political ends."

I would add "and religious ends" to that definition, and probably broaden the term "violence" to include murder, mass murder, and genocide.

I would include the idea that terrorism is often aimed at innocent civilians and symbolic institutions as well as the military and government.

Understanding the concept, however, does little to help us comprehend the who, the what, the why and the how of what took place on Sept. 11, 2001. And comprehend we must if we ever want to put an end to terrorism and put these dark times behind us.

As usual, the Web is a good place to start.

This is the Web site for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a good place to learn about Islam and Muslims in general – the backlash against this community has been nothing short of extreme since the attack. Two Muslim’s were shot and killed in the U.S., a Hamilton, Ontario, Mosque was burned to the ground, and Islamic communities throughout North America have been targets of violence and vandalism.

The only thing that the Muslim community at large is guilty of is bad P.R.. At home we associate Islam with Malcolm X, Louis Farrakan, Iron Mike Tyson. On the world stage, we associate Islam with Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Colonel Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi in Libya, the Hammas and Islamic Jihad groups in Israel, the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, massacres in Algeria, Egypt, India and the Middle East, the brutal Taliban regime in Afghanistan, a previous bombing of the World Trade Center, groups of Palestinians celebrating Sept. 11, and Osama bin Laden.

Just as the teachings of the Bible were perverted to justify the crusades and the inquisition, so have the teachings of the Koran been perverted to justify terrorism and the making of martyrs.

There are hundreds of millions of Muslims on the planet, and the vast majority are peaceful and condemn whoever was responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks. To believe all Muslim’s or Arab-Canadians are in cahoots with the terrorists is nothing short of ignorance.

The MidEast Web is an attempt to start a dialogue and create a lasting peace and understanding between the divergent faiths and cultures in a region that has been at war for thousands of years.

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