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Majority among the few
The ambition of terrorists to destroy our way of life has lead to many definitions as to the face of these assailants. Current events have forced us to clearly label the face of this adversary and the idealist teachings. While this idealism resides inside of one of the largest and fastest growing religions in the world we as American’s must be careful not to include the majority with this minority. I could further argue that it is this very rational that further escalates this problem as more and more join the ranks and set out against us. In order to set out against our real adversary we as Americans need to explore this ideology to further understand that it is not the group as a whole that would be our assailants, but groups among them that are indeed America’s enemy, mine and yours. Fueled by hatred, minorities among the group, and using Islam as their countenance.
Most among us will agree that the events of 9/11 changed us as America’s, for the foreseeable future. As time passes we begin to heal and range through the emotions of this process. Retribution is at the top of the list for the most of us but we must keep our head about us, as we perceive this pain. Not to say the threat of our assailants is not real, but we must be careful in the definition of these assailants and be sure not to include those that would not otherwise be our enemies. Reshma Memon Yaqub, author and Muslim writes how she and others like her cringe at the use of her faith, by those with a more narrow ideology, to push their own political agendas. Yaqub states she was “briefly heartened to hear author Tom Clancy, interviewed on CNN, explaining that Islam is a peaceful religion and that we Americans must not let go of our religious tolerance…” for it is these tolerances that truly make our society one that endures freedom which is the very thing our enemies are set out against. (438)
When the perpetrator of terrorist activity is Muslim, America tends to designate not just a minority group within Islam but designate the whole faith as savages. (438) To the contrary there are the majority of Muslims that do not share such sentiment. They do not revel in the suffering of American and they do not delight in these acts perpetrated in the name of their faith, Islam. “These are the educated [members], often secular in outlook, at home in Western culture as well as their own.” Yet, these members find themselves endangered by the fanatics with us in the Western world. (Pryce-Jone 439) For we are not in a war with a religious faith, rather American’s and all free thinking citizens of the world are at odds with rulers of Muslim states that long ago “. Inherited a cast-iron absolute system…” which has put them in “test of strength everywhere with people of other religious persuasions.”(Pryce-Jones 439)
We see that state of Radical Islam, as an ideology used to rule over others may have no appeal beyond the borders of the Muslim world. (Zakaria 428) Yet it has a direct threat within the Muslim world as illustrated by the civil wars in Algeria and Sudan, “the fanatics threaten to overthrow the local rulers”. (Pryce-Jones 439) Then it is only the West and even more America’s responsibility, as globalization flourishes, we are left to meet these “tests of strength.”
As we begin to meet this test we must be sure to see the real threat is the Radical idealism behind the religion. For if we, as most tend to do, blame the religion as a whole we may find our adversary prosper from our traducement on Islam as a whole. It is important to define those that would be our attackers carefully for we have an ally in all those who support a free society where religion is practiced in many forms and tolerance taught by those religions is upheld.
Ackley, Katherine, ed. Perspectives on Contemporary Issues:
Readings Across the Disciplines. 3rd ed. Boston: Heinle, 2003.
Zakaria, Fareed. “The End of the End of History” Ackley 427-429
Yaqub, Reshma Memon. “I’m Not the Enemy”
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