Fascinating to me how many people still consider Muslims a threat to America. The stereotypical rhetoric includes statements like, “Muslims are taught from birth to hate Americans – it is written in the Koran,” and “Muslim Imans are extremists who exercise more power than presidents of western countries.,“ and “All Muslims operate under Sharia Law,” and my personal favorite, “The most radical Muslims intimidate and spew hatred for the pure joy of doing so. Islam bloodlust is so compulsive that they will kill less radical Muslims to sate themselves if there are no Americans around to kill.”
The message being that Islam is a threat just because it exists. That all Muslims are terrorists.
Terrorists come in all sizes and shapes. Some terrorists happen to be Muslim. Some happen to be Christian. Some happen to be U.S. military personnel. Some happen to be Osama bin Laden. Some happen to be 13-year old boys.
With the exception of 9-11, a review of some of the most significant attacks against the U.S. reveals more Americans than foreigners being the bad guy. Take a look. Extra points if you find the Muslim.
1927: School Board Member Andrew Kehow committed a series of school bombings which killed 45 people and injured 58 others – most of whom were children between the ages of 7 and 12. He was upset about property taxes and wanted revenge for losing his farm after it was foreclosed, in part because of new taxes required to pay for the new school.
1969: The Black Liberation Army was a splinter group of black nationalists who broke from the Black Panther Party. This group’s objective was to overthrow the U.S. government. By 1981, thirteen police officers had been murdered and more than 60 other acts of violence had been committed. If America hadn’t been afraid of black people before this, they certainly were now.
1973: The Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) was an American radical-left “urban guerrilla warfare group” that considered itself a revolutionary vanguard army that fancied themselves early leaders of the Black Revolution. The SLA robbed banks, committed two murders and various other acts of violence between 1973 and 1975. Their most notorious act was kidnapping Patty Hearst. They terrorized the nation and because of kidnapping of Ms. Hearst, America learned the phrase “Stockholm Syndrome.”
1979 – 1995: Ted Kaczynski (also known as the Unabomber) mailed 16 bombs to targets including universities and airlines over a period of twenty years, killing three people and injuring 23. He was upset about urban development taking place on forest land. Imprisoned in 1999, he still maintains that the U.S. government and modern technology was the real enemy. Kaczynski was an American child prodigy, entering Harvard University at the age of 16 and becoming a professor at Berkeley University before he was 25 years old. His bombing spree forever changed the way the U.S. post office handles packages, how they must be wrapped, what can be shipped, and what kind of label it must have. To this day, he remains on the FBI’s list of domestic terrorists even though he is behind bars.
1981: In a misguided attempt to win the affection of actress Jodi Foster, John Hinckley, Jr. attempted to murder President Ronald Reagan as he was leaving the Washington Hilton Hotel. Hinckley fired six bullets, wounding President Reagan and three others. One of those bullets was fired into the head of White House Press Secretary James Brady and permanent disabled him. Later, Brady and his wife Sarah became leading advocates of gun control and other actions to reduce the amount of gun violence in the United States. As a result of this tragedy, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act was passed in 1993.
1982: James W. Lewis dumped out the acetaminophen and laced Tylenol capsules with cyanide instead, then replaced the bottles back on grocery store shelves. This killed seven people. It also sparked a $100 recall effort and completely and irrevocably changed the way over the counter medications and household products are packaged. Where did this happen? Chicago, IL.
1995: Timothy McVeigh detonated a truck in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City killing 168 people and injuring 450 more because he was upset with the way the U.S. government handled the Waco Siege two years before. This act was the largest act of domestic terrorism before 9/11. He was executed in prison in 2001. McVeigh had served in the U.S. Army and received an honorable discharge. Prior to his death, he shared a cell block with another infamous killer, Ramzi Yousef who tried unsuccessfully to convert him to Islam. McVeigh’s act sparked special brand new legislation which banned veterans convicted of crimes from being buried in any military cemetery.
1996: Eric Rudolph (also known as the Olympic Park Bomber) is a terrorist responsible for a series of bombings across the southern United States between 1996 and 1998, which killed two people and injured at least 150 others. Rudolph bombed two abortion clinics, a gay nightclub and the 1996 Olympics held in Atlanta. He said the bombings were done in the name of the Army of God. The FBI still considers him a terrorist.
1999: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were two disenchanted high school seniors who walked into Columbine High School with a plan to kill hundreds of their peers. With guns, knives, and a multitude of bombs, the two boys walked the hallways and killed. By the time it was over, 14 students and one teacher were dead – including them. Twenty four others were wounded. They had planted bombs in the school before they began shooting and had they gone off as planned, all 488 students in the building would have been killed.
2001: U.S. scientist Bruce Ivens mailed several letters containing anthrax to various media outlets and two Democratic senators, killing five people and infecting 17 others.
2009: Native-born U.S. citizen and Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan killed 13 people and wounded 29 during a mass murder at Fort Hood military installation. Colleagues say that he became more and more anti-American and began communicating with a radical Iman in Afghanistan before going on his killing spree.
Want to know what else these terrorists had in common besides their ability to terrorize the country and forever change our consciousness and the way we conduct business? A whopping number of them were both Christian and Republican. Think about that the next time you go to the voting poll.
It's not about the me. It's about the we.