When it comes to Muslims and violence, it’s not often that the New York Times goes beyond the standard narrative that radical Islamists are (a) poor, (b) poorly educated, and (c) understandably upset over a series of real or perceived injustices, from the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq to the publication of some Motoons.
But Times columnist Thomas Friedman, to his credit, is willing to hold the perpetrators of terrorism to account without making excuses, and with — get this — logic.
If you’re unhappy about some perceived slight against you and your fellow believers, Friedman asks of extremist Muslims,
[W]hat in God’s name does that have to do with planting a bomb at the Boston Marathon and blowing up innocent people? It is amazing to me how we’ve come to accept this non sequitur and how easily we’ve allowed radical Muslim groups and their apologists to get away with it.
A simple question: If you were upset with U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, why didn’t you go out and build a school in Afghanistan to strengthen that community or get an advanced degree to strengthen yourself or become a math teacher in the Muslim world to help its people be less vulnerable to foreign powers? Dzhokhar claims the Tsarnaev brothers were so upset by something America did in a third country that they just had to go to Boylston Street and blow up people who had nothing to do with it (some of whom could have been Muslims), and too often we just nod our heads rather than asking: What kind of sick madness is this?
Of course, rationality has never been religion’s strong suit, and Islam is quite possibly the faith that’s most impervious to logic. Friedman’s question may have to be repeated a few million times before it begins to sink in. Check back in a few generations.
[image via New York Daily News]