A reader writes:
There are 1.6 Billion-with-a-B Muslims in the world. Less than 100 have successfully carried out an attack that killed US civilians. Even at the most generous estimate, there are less than 25,000 active members of Al-Quaeda. That’s 0.00000015% of the Muslim population. There are rogue ideologies, savage ideas floating around the world, easily accessible, and yet how many people have actually gone on to apply those ideas to kill others?
Here’s another fact: 1.7 million ethnic Chechens, but only 2 of them have attacked the US. And those 2 were born and raised in Kyrgyzstan, as were their entire family for one generation, having been deported from Chechnya in 1944, and never lived in Chechnya during the conflicts there. Their family moved to Dagestan for less than a year in 2001, after which they became residents of the US at the ages of 8 and 15. They lived here for 11 years, studied here, wrestled and boxed here, graduated from school here, and one of them, Tamerlan, married a Christian woman and had a child HERE, according to his aunt, who was interviewed on NPR. Whatever part of their lives inspired them to take this action, and WE DON’T KNOW if it had anything to do with their reading of Islam, they got those ideas HERE, in the US, on US soil, as US residents.
Would you characterize Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols, and the militia movement they were associated with as being “at war” with the US? If anything, those men can be said to have been “at war” with EVERYONE, including the 19 children and hundreds of others that they murdered. These men and their ilk are murderers, not soldiers, and what they have done doesn’t deserve the dignity of cloaking it as some part of a larger ideological struggle. They killed because they could. Because they wanted to. And they are enemies of all humanity.