Mr. Peter Forsythe in his letter (Moderate Muslims should not deny Islam terror links, 25 February, 2017) acknowledges, “white supremacists kill more people” than Muslims but interestingly cites “if you don’t count the 9/11 attacks (3000 deaths) and Orlando shootings (49 deaths)” but why start counting on 9/11 when white extremism and Muslim militancy has been a mainstay since the 1990s, if not earlier?
Also, why not encompass the “nearly 4 million civilians killed during the War on Terror by America and its allies since 9/11”, according to the Center for Research on Globalisation?
Mr. Forsythe however insist, “The issue is not body count but intent…Killings in the name of Islam are usually accompanied by shouts of “Allahu Akbar” and white supremacists “don’t murder while shouting “Jesus is Lord”.
In November 2015, an evangelical Christian, Robert Dear killed three and injured nine at an anti-abortion clinic in Colorado. He even praised people who attacked abortion providers, saying they were doing “God’s work”. In court, he praised Army of God, a Christian terrorist group that is responsible for similar killings, such as Atlanta Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph, who also bombed a lesbian bar. Then there is Reverend Paul Jennings, Scott Roeder, Micah Johnson and many other Christians with similar motives.
Atheists don’t fare well either. Stephen Hicks from the Chapel Hill shootings of Muslims and Chris Harper from the Oregon killings of Christians, are but two quick examples of proud atheists with zero tolerance for religion, illustrating uncomfortably for Mr. Forsythe how religion is not always the cause for violence.
But no, the rules for media condemnation are different when misguided Christians or atheists commit acts of violence. White Americans are never asked to publicly condemn their actions but an unfair perpetual finger is pointed at Muslims demanding that “moderate Muslims” deny, condemn and disavow (read: bow and scrape) to the world the actions of a minority of deviant Muslims who commit acts of violence.
Couching his language in the terms of pure critique of religious thought, Mr. Forsythe concludes his letter demanding “plain speaking” and an end to “dubious moral equivalence” by Muslims when in reality he is severely ill-informed of facts.
If the Quran or Bible or Torah said nothing but “do good and avoid evil”, you can be sure there will be people who will still misconstrue its true meaning and commit acts of violence.