Monday, March 29, 2010

The "Other" Homegrown Terrorism-And The One You Should REALLY Be Afraid Of

The "Other" Homegrown Terrorism-And the One You Should Be REALLY Afraid Of

They carry guns. They scoff at the authority of their government.They are willing to
commit acts of violence kill in the name of an extreme religious ideology.

But are they Muslims? No. They are fundamentalist Christians who are armed, trained, and ready to carry out the most terrible of missions as "Christian warriors" under the command of "General Jesus". And they are incorrigibly opposed to Muslims, whom they believe to be the "Anti-Christ".

On March 28th, a band of nine of these soldiers for Jesus were arrested by federal authorities
in three separate raids in Oho, Michigan, and Illinois. A day later they were charged with conspiracy to kill police officers, although, not yet, conspiracy to murder Muslims.

But while one might be tempted to dismiss these Hutarees, as they call themselves ( the name means "Christian Warriors" in some undetermined language) as a few kooks with paramilitary fantasies, they are far from marginal, or alone: they represent just one fringe element among some 932 groups in America identified as extremists by the Southern Poverty law Center. And the ultra-Right is growing at an alarming rate: in 2009 alone, some 363 new groups of extremists came into existence in America, fueled in part by the election of a Black president
(whom most of these people consider to be not even a real American citizen) and the
changing demographic reality that is making Caucasian Americans a shrinking majority population.

But will federal agents infiltrate the churches that these Hutrees attend? Will they take their pastors into custody and interrogate them about their theological views concerning the Bible and Jesus? Will their friends and non-Hutaree family members, have their homes invaded and ransacked? Not likely. Because Christian reactionary extremism, whether armed or not, is not
taken as a serious threat to national security.

Muslims, though, certainly know what it is like to suffer the outrage of collective suspicion, and even collective punishment, for violent actions done in the name of Islam. Even when responsible Muslim organizations condemn extremism and violence, there are those-even in "respectable" political circles-who are quick to assign some conspiratorial blame to the entire community for the violent actions of a few. But despite nearly 1,000 such extremist groups that profess opposition to the policies and even the authority of the State, the Christian majority is not examined under the microscope of law enforcement.

Will prominent Christian pastors like Franklin Graham or T.D. Jakes feel compelled to appear on FOX News to explain that conservative Christians are not blood-thirsty gun nuts with racist motivations, or that Christians actually love the government even if a Black President leads it? No. Because the rules that collectively apply to Muslims do not apply to them, even when some of "them" are part of a reactionary, armed, and hateful fringe element.

Remember that, just a week ago, the "Tea Party" crowd converged on the House of Representatives and called African-American Congressmen "Niggers" while spitting on them. Well, the militia boys are worse, because they will spit out the verbal abuse while threatening to use their guns if the need arises for armed "self defense".

Conservative Christians are not compelled to apologize for the behavior of a minority of armed Christian extremists. The American Muslim community, long excoriated by the press and spied on by the national security apparatus, simply demands the same level of respect, and freedom from the odious stigma of collective guilt that Christians enjoy as a fundamental right.

Ibrahim Ramey

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