Terrorism Response Should Be Love and Understanding Not Fear and Hate

Evidence markers on the street surround police and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officials near the site of an explosion in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, New York, U.S. September 18, 2016. REUTERS/Rashid Umar Abbasi

This is spot-on, I think:

Caution, and a desire to refrain from jumped-to conclusions, is one thing. A stubborn refusal to embrace reality because it is politically inconvenient is quite another.

But while Trump may benefit from the left’s suicide pact with political correctness, he also hurts himself by pandering to overtly nativist sentiments about immigrants and refugees.

In fact, I’d argue that Trump and those who react as he does to events like those in St. Cloud and New York over the weekend helps give the terrorists exactly what they want.

Hatred and suspicion and faction.

…imagine what it must feel like to be a member of the Muslim/refugee community in Fargo today. It must be a fearful, harrowing thing.

These things are the fuel which drives ISIS. Theirs is an ideology, a fanaticism, built on perceived bigotry toward Muslims. They foment hatred toward their own people, they work to isolate those people from the rest of society, and then they use that hatred and isolation to drive recruitment for more attacks.

The alleged attacker in St. Cloud was apparently from Fargo originally, something many have already seized on to further various campaigns against Islam, generally, and refugee resettlement/immigration specifically.

But imagine what it must feel like to be a member of the Muslim/refugee community in Fargo today. It must be a fearful, harrowing thing.

We must meet that fear with love and understanding and acceptance. We have to break the cycle which creates more divides between Muslims and the rest of us.

Don’t get me wrong. Islamic terrorism is a real threat, and shouldn’t be dismissed or obscured out of some overweening sense of political correctness. But we shouldn’t allow Islamic terrorism to isolate our Muslim communities from the rest of us.

Fighting Islamic extremism and accepting Muslims needn’t be mutually exclusive things.

Besides, we cannot defeat Islamic extremism without help from Muslims.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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