In the Name of God

Religiously motivated murder is nothing new, and many or most religions share the guilt. Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, and Sikhs as well as Muslims have committed mass slaughter. The reaction to the internecine slaughters of Christianity was a major factor in the modern rise in secularism. Mass Christian versus Muslim violence has flourished for 14 centuries.

Today, though, Muslims are doing most of the murder and providing most of the victims as well. My local paper the other day had a front page picture of a woman in conservative Islamic dress hugging someone at a local vigil in honor of the victims in Orlando. She was quoted to the effect that she didn't consider the perpetrator a Muslim, just a murderer. I understand the sentiment, but I felt like that wasn't nearly enough.

Muslims, collectively and individually, need to take some responsibility for the crimes done in the name of their religion. They need to face the aspects of their religion that facilitate and promote murder in the name of God and insist that they be dealt with by religious leaders. Merely mouthing pieties about Islam being a "religion of peace" are not sufficient or even honest.

If they can't, or won't, the Donald Trumps and even worse people will make sure that all Muslims are held responsible for the crimes of a few. That would be a tragedy for the US and Muslims generally.


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