Society needs to stop blaming Muslims for extremist terrorism

The Channels Opinion Pages | EDITOR COLUMN

LANDON HUNT, Associate Editor

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While most minority groups have made significant progress towards equality, one group is trapped by unjustified prejudice.

The terrible acts committed by radical Islamic terrorist groups have brought blame and cruel treatment to all Muslims.

These radical groups, like ISIS and Al Qaeda for example, are considered Muslim, but they need to be judged separately from Muslim people as a whole. We’re able to separate other religions from their extremist counterparts, but with the Muslim community we judge them as if they are all extremist.

American society is able to separate Mormons from the small fundamentalist sect in southern Utah that still practices polygamy.

The Westboro Baptist Church has a history of hate and discrimination, but we’re able to recognize that most Baptists are not like that.

Society is able to separate Christians from their extremists. In fact, the mainstream media rarely mentions Christian terrorism.

The mainstream media doesn’t point out the fact that the Ku Klux Klan claims to be a Christian organization. But when talking about ISIS or Al Qaeda, it is always made clear that they are a Muslim group.

Last year, a man in Texas attempted to burn down the Mexican Consulate and fired over 100 rounds in the area. Shortly after, the Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo called the gunman a “terrorist,” and the suspect was linked to a white supremacist group that claims to be inspired by Christianity.

And just last week three people, including one police officer, were shot and killed and nine others were wounded inside a Planned Parenthood in Colorado. The shooter’s wife said that he claimed to be a Christian. Planned Parenthood has been criticized heavily lately by anti-abortion groups, many of which are considered to be Christian organizations.

When acts like these are committed, American society does not put the blame on all Christians. We blame the actual people who were involved, as we should.

But when Beirut and Paris were attacked last month, all 1.6 billion Muslims in the world felt the backlash.

In Texas, about a dozen protesters, some holding guns, gathered outside an Islamic Center, one of the protesters held a sign that read: “Stop the Islamization of America.”

Despite the fact that none of the Muslim people inside that mosque had anything to do with the attacks, they felt the hate.

This won’t happen outside of a Christian church following the Planned Parenthood shooting, as it shouldn’t. The wrong people would be taking blame, just like Muslims are now.

The attacks prompted 31 state governors to state they were opposed to allowing Syrian refugees in their states. Some of the hopeful republican presidential candidates agreed, and Jeb Bush added that he would allow refugees into America if they could “prove” they were Christian. Donald Trump went as far as saying there should be a database of all the Muslims in the country.

What people need to realize is that the extremists want us to blame all Muslims. ISIS wants America to stop letting in refugees. By treating Muslims the way America has, we are doing exactly what the terrorists want.