Imprecise Labeling Of Terrorists Hurts Us All

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image of Andy Burnham the mayor of Manchester UK
Andy Burnham, the mayor of Manchester UK

Terry Firma over at Friendly Atheist, got in a thither because an elected official in the UK tried to claim the bomber in the suicide attack in Manchester wasn’t a Muslim. Firma falls into the trap most people do when they react to terrorism by people who don’t look like them. While the bomber’s religion probably did play a part in the motivation in the attack, Firma misses the point that using such a wide brush to label religious people doesn’t make sense and can cause more collateral damage.

Well, whaddaya know? Salman Ramadan Abedi, the Manchester suicide bomber who slaughtered 22 people, including children as young as eight, wasn’t a real Muslim. He wasn’t a Muslim at all.

That’s according to Andy Burnham, the mayor of Manchester.

Burnham says that Abedi’s sickening act had nothing to with Islam, despite the fact that Abedi, a devout follower of Allah, is believed to have received ISIS training, and notwithstanding the bomber having been a regular worshiper who only stopped attending the local mosque when its imam spoke out against ISIS.

Manchester Mayor Claims Mass Murderer Salman Abedi ‘Was a Terrorist, Not a Muslim’

This really isn’t something new for the UK. The Irish Republican Army committed terrorist acts all over the nation before the Good Friday agreement brought the “troubles” to an end in 1998. The terrorist acts included bombing a UK Conservative Party conference in 1984, a 10 Downing Street mortar attack in 1991, not mention several bombings of pubs over the years.

I don’t remember, after that violence, people talking about taking action against Catholics. There were no travel bans or talk of internment camps.

Why, not?

Because people knew that not all Catholics supported the IRA and not all Catholics were taking part in the violence.

When people, like Firma, get upset because some leaders are trying to stop people from singling out the “others”, it bothers me.

Yes, there are places in the Qur’an that call for killing the unbeliever. There are parts of the Holy Bible that do the same for Christians and we know not all Christians kill unbelievers.

Saying that the Manchester bomber is not a Muslim is correct because only a radical Muslim, as the guy is known to have been, would carry out a bombing like we saw. A large majority of Muslims live their days without ever once considering killing an unbeliever.

No one is trying to deny the guy didn’t have a religious motivation for the attack. What the Manchester mayor and other political leaders are trying to do is prevent labeling with a wide brush like Firma is attempting to do.

Saying the bomber is not a Muslim is not denying the crime or helping Islam.


Also published on Medium.


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