The thawing -- or re-humanizing -- of Ahmedu as we got to know each other was a testament to the power of the human spirit. Yet, to too many in the West a young man like Ahmedu represents an Islamic threat in which Muslims are hell-bent on re-conquering parts of Europe to impose an Islamic caliphate. As for the argument that immigrants simply mean more recruits for terrorists, not once did Ahmedu mention words like sharia or jihad. But for the right-wing movements growing exponentially across Europe, this would not matter.
Following the terror attacks in Copenhagen, where a Jewish man was killed last weekend, a group of young Muslims in Norway are organizing a peace rally at an Oslo synagogue on the Jewish Sabbath, this upcoming Saturday February 21.
If poverty, oppression, injustice, joblessness and hopelessness are the deeper causes of motivations to violence, ridding the world of religion won't lead to less violence.
Apocalyptic scriptures share one feature: They were always composed in distressing times for the benefit of desperate people who occupied a particular moment in history. They suffered politically and economically, and only a dramatic rescue by God could help.
You know you're a bigot when you can't take out the word "Muslim" from a sentence you stated and replace it with "Jew" and still have it be socially acceptable. Let's start out nice and easy. A sentence I get with great regularity: "You're a Muslim apologist."
Deah, Yusor and Razan are not to be simply lionized as exceptions to put on a pedestal for us to mourn and then forget. They are to be viewed as the standard and standard-bearers of what it means to be citizens, both in a global and local sense.
There is much to suggest these three students weren't killed solely over a parking space. This heinous act looks more like a hate crime.
As the West ramped up its "War on Terror", the media portrayed the battle as us versus them. "Us" being the good Anglo-Saxon Americans and "them" being the freedom hating fundamentalist Islamists of the Middle East.
I believe the battle is coming down to civilization vs ancient authoritarianism, which ultimately makes it a war between what we in the civilized world consider good vs what we consider evil. That is a war worth fighting--and winning decisively.
Whenever anyone of us is diminished, we are all demeaned, when anyone or any group remains institutionally and socially stigmatized, marginalized, excluded, or disenfranchised, when violence comes down upon any of us, the possibility for authentic community cannot be realized unless and until we challenge it in truly transformational ways.
We have to ask ourselves what it means that Jews worldwide have become targets in this way. We also have to ask ourselves what we are going to do about it as a society. As for me, I'm furious. I'm also scared for myself and my family. Lest we forget, the goal of terrorists is to strike terror in its target audience.
Aside from the arguments about the merits of hate-crime statutes, these crimes are notoriously difficult to prosecute because of the high burden prosecutors face when proving that the defendant's bias indeed motivated the crime.
The fact that someone has a propensity to behave violently doesn't ipso facto mean that they would ever express this anger by using a gun. But there is no other form of personal behavior that is as dangerous and costly as pulling a trigger at yourself or someone else. Wouldn't it be much easier to just get rid of the guns?
Saturday's smaller replay in Copenhagen of Paris' Charlie Hebdo massacre that left three dead (including the suspected shooter) and several injured begs the question: are cartoons art and entertainment or lethal weapons?
President Obama's remarks, last week, at the annual National Prayer Breakfast were theologically sound and politically smart. In spite of this, his comments set off a storm of criticism from conservative critics who took him to task for both his theology and his politics.
Crusades "in general" refer to what are called "holy wars" or "just wars"--military campaigns for the purpose of halting the spread of non-Christian religions, of retaking holy places, or of conquering pagan areas.