Tuesday, September 14, 2004

The one on terrorist attacks

Millions of people around the world commemorated the third year anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York yesterday. Being one of 82 million Filipinos, who by nature and circumstance are seemingly distributed throughout the world in the course of keeping the rest of the globe together (the Philippines is the world's most distributed economy, and tens of millions of people rely on Filipinos for everything from domestic assistance to IT needs), it is surprising to me that I did not lose anyone in the attacks.

This does not, of course and however, stop my heart from bleeding for the losses of our brothers and sisters in New York. Nor does it numb the pain I feel when militant terrorists attack civilian innocents, regardless of unfortunate choice of venue. The recent bombing of the Australian embassy, owned up to, according to news reports, by Islamic terrorist groups, is one such source of pain.

The announcement on the group's website criticizes Australia's support of activities that, at face value, seek to put an end to terrorist activity, i.e., Muslim terrorist activity. This, of course, is ridiculous to freedom-loving citizens of the world, regardless of political affiliation, and my wife remarked to me over a rather insipid dinner of cow tongue, porkchop, and cold rice, how Islam through the Jihad was expected to win converts to its cause and worship of Allah.

Neither my wife nor I are Islam or Christianity scholars, so our understanding of either faith is not so deep as to encourage discussion (flammatory or otherwise) of a truly scholarly fashion, but when a group of people kill other people in the name of their god, in this day and age of otherwise brain-deadening tolerance, it hardly seems like the most efficient way to convince the world of the supremacy of their god.

Somehow, a loving god and the actions of a people of a loving god seem stronger arguments for the quality of that particular religion, and while Christianity certainly has a lot of blood in its hands in the pursuit of fanatical and misplaced ideal evangelism, I think these extremist groups do the Islam faith a great disservice by strutting the name of Allah in their terrorist activities. Mind you, I do not aim to generalize: to generalize is dangerous, because not all Muslims seek to kill people in remuneration for disservice done them by Christians, and not all Christians seek to embitter Muslims. But these groups would do better to call a spade a spade, and tell the world their real reasons for heartless massacre of world citizens, instead of dressing it up in the name of Allah, who I imagine is more loving than some of his followers.

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