Oh the angst. The sorrow. The hand wringing.
Tom Krattenmaker, a religion writer for USA today, laments over the recent terrorist plot in his eclectic enclave.
For those of us accustomed to walking past Pioneer Courthouse Square every day, right in the middle of cheerful, quirky, out-of-the-way Portland, it’s an image that’s hard to fathom: Thousands of people crowding the square for the annual lighting of the towering Christmas tree. Excited little kids. A sudden, massive blast. Bodies shredded and burned. Chaos, blood, sirens, screaming, crying.
This is the mental picture that has been confronting us with surreal immediacy since news broke just more than a week ago about the unsuccessful bomb plot of a local college student who had drunk the jihad elixir and made the crazy, inexplicable, unconscionable and ultimately sad decision to become a homegrown terrorist.
Anger, fear, contempt — these are understandable emotions when people learn of a would-be act of terrorism at a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in their own downtown. I’ve gone through those, and a fair bit of sadness, too — sadness that a kid from our community would allegedly want to smash a happy scene to a million bits, sadness that no one set him straight, and sadness that my Muslim friends are feeling even more under the gun than before.
Your muslim friends? Have any of them bothered to take to the streets in protest against the disruption of peace, love, and Kumbaya? Apparently, none of them saw fit to “set him straight”, either.
In the understandable rush to make sense of the nonsensical, people grasp for their ideologies: The Muslims are out to get us! Law enforcement has it in for minorities! What emerges for me is no rallying cry but some emphatic words of caution. Let’s be careful about picking our scapegoats and leaping to our favorite over-generalizations. And, especially, let’s choose responses that don’t hurt an already-bad situation.
Gawd forbid we should pick an Islamofascist culture who wants to blow up infidels in the name of their allah, as “scapegoats”. For heaven’s sake, let’s not offend some muslim terrorist facilitating organization like CAIR, the Cordoba Project, or the Muslim Brotherhood, with “over-generalizations”. We wouldn’t want to “hurt an already bad situation”, would we? Last I checked they are out to get us.
For several good reasons, many of us Portlanders are having a hard time wrapping our minds around the horrific thought of a 19-year-old from the local suburbs wanting to kill and destroy. Why would Portland, of all places, be the site of a terror attack?
The “People’s Republic of Portland” — so dubbed for its liberal ways — seems so utterly different from New York, Mumbai, London, or the other places that one associates with terrorist attacks. Portland is so much smaller, light years from the figurative front lines. This is a laid-back city where the red-hot rhetoric around terrorism, Islam, the “ground zero mosque,” and the like runs cooler. It’s a place where a live-and-let-live spirit extends ample latitude to anyone who might otherwise stand out — whether it’s for wearing a Santa hat and pedaling around on a unicycle playing bagpipes (which my wife actually witnessed last year), covering every inch of your arm with tattoos, or wearing a head scarf and praying at a mosque rather than a church or synagogue.
Why oh why would a muslim terrorist select such an idyllic, serene, hippified sanctuary, for jihad?
……Also churning in my head is regret over the stress that the incident is causing for our Portland-area Muslim community. The suspect, Mohamed Osman Mohamud, ” ruined it for everybody,” is how one Somalian man, Ahmed Ali, put it in comments to The Oregonian newspaper. “Our religion says we cannot kill innocent people. This is the reason we left Somalia.”
Hate-filled Islamic rhetoric, accumulated atrocities, attacks, and the many examples in the Koran which instruct muslims to kill Jews, Christians, and “unbelievers”, kinda ruined things centuries ago. According to your 7th Century prophet, non-muslims are not “innocent”.
……In the week following revelations of the plot, local Muslim leaders rushed to counter charges that now there was proof — more proof! — that Islam is inherently violent and evil.
A rabid, political, misogynist, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, “religion” mistaken as inherently violent and evil.
Off went the news releases and e-mails to news media people citing key verses from the Quran stressing the imperative for Muslims to live in peace with their neighbors. And, with that, the sharp condemnations of the attempted act of terrorism.
The number of key verses in the Koran stressing the exact opposite are more prevalent. “Sharp condemnations”? You gotta be kidding. I’ve yet to see the so-called “peaceful” muzzies come out enmasse and make their point in no uncertain terms.
……I felt for these friends last week when I heard about a retaliatory arson incident at the Corvallis Islamic center where Mohamud occasionally prayed while at college, and the scattered reports of Muslims being harassed on the streets — generally women, whose head scarves make them easy marks….
I feel more for the victims of Islamic terrorism. Ya know what Tommy, if fed up Americans really wanted to retaliate, no
terrorist recruiting facility “Islamic center” would be left standing.
If Tommy actually read the Koran, he’d discover just how much Islam is diametrically opposed to the way of life he enjoys in our Democratic Republic, let alone his “live-and-let-live” town.