i am really saddened by the Fort Hood shooting. it is tragic enough that 13 people died, but the tragedy is compounded by the way that some people are responding. i am sickened by those who suggest that Muslims should not be allowed to serve in the military, or should be singled out and investigated simply because of their religion.
our nations only justification for the "war on terror" is in upholding the difference between a war on terror and a war on the religion of Islam. we must firmly hold onto the distinction between the majority of Muslims of true faith, who follow the teachings of Allah of justice and mercy and respect for others, and the tiny group of extremists who use Islam as a guise for hatred and evil. they are no more representative of Islam as a whole as the members of the Lords Army in Uganda are representative of Christianity as a whole (google this if you don't know...they force children to be soldiers and if they don't fight they get their arms cut off in the name of Jesus). in any religion there are crazy fringe elements who do awful things. but if we begin to harass and vilify Muslims and make this a war on Islam, we justify extremism.
extremist imams use the idea that America is fighting the religion of Islam as a way to justify terror attacks. and, if it were true that we were fighting Muslims based on their religion, then all Muslims would have every right to fight back. the fact that we are fighting terrorist actions and not Muslim beliefs is what keeps terrorists from being justified.
the Fort Hood shooting was horrifying and tragic, as is all loss of life. it remains to be seen whether or not it was motivated by extremism, or simply by mental instability. either way it is awful. either way those lost remain lost. but if America lashes out at Muslims because of this, we become the terrorists. we should not dishonour the soldiers who have lost their lives to the war on terror by becoming the very thing they died to protect us from.
there is a verse to a U2 song that i love called "peace on earth" that goes:
"where i grew up there weren't many trees
where there were we'd tear them down and use them on our enemies
they say that what you mock will surely overtake you
and you become a monster so the monsters will not break you"
we must not become monsters.