The content below is an email I received in September of 2008, followed by my knee jerk response written the day I received it four years ago. Lies are persistent little things, and apparently there are now several permutations of this hateful screed still circulating around the network today.
Anyway, since I’m more sick of this election cycle than I have ever been of any such event, and can’t bring myself to flog a dead horse anymore, I thought perhaps this blast from the past may still have some relevance. ~T
This is historical fact, NOT someone’s opinion ! Check it out, if you don’t believe me.
I was an adult when each one of these “incidents” happened. It bothers me that some people cannot see these “incidents” for what they are. Please pay attention to this e-mail and think carefully before casting your vote this November.
This will be sent to EVERYONE in my address book, which I don’t usually do, since it is so important ! ! NAME OMITTED 21 Sep 2008
A lot of Americans have become so insulated from reality that they imagine that America can suffer defeat without any inconvenience to themselves.
Pause a moment, reflect back.
These events are actual events from history..
They really happened!!!
Do you remember?
1. In 1968, Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed by a Muslim male extremist.
2. In 1972, at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped and massacred by Muslim male extremists.
3. In 1979, the US embassy in Iran was taken over by Muslim male extremists.
4. During the 1980′s a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by Muslim male extremists.
5. In 1983, the US Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by Muslim male extremists.
6. In 1985, the cruise ship AchilleLauro was hijacked and a 70 year old American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard in his wheelchair by Muslim male extremists.
7. In 1985, TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens and a US Navy diver ( a SEAL), trying to rescue passengers, was murdered by Muslim male extremists.
8. In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by Muslim male extremists.
9. In 1993, the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by Muslim male extremists.
10. In 1998, the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by Muslim male extremists.
11. On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked; two were used as missiles to take down the World Trade Centers and of the remaining two, one crashed into the US Pentagon and the other was diverted and crashed by the passengers. Thousands of people were killed by Muslim male extremists.
12. In 2002, the United States fought a war in Afghanistan against Muslim male extremists.
13. In 2002, reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by Muslim male extremists. (I remember this beheading was placed on the Internet, for all to see.)
No, I really don’t see a pattern here to justify profiling, do you? So, to ensure we Americans never offend anyone, particularly fanatics intent on killing us, airport security screeners will no longer be allowed to profile certain people… Absolutely No Profiling!
They must conduct random searches of 80-year-old women, little kids, airline pilots with proper identification, secret agents who are members of the President’s security detail, 85-year old Congressmen with metal hips, and Medal of Honor winner and former Governor Joe Foss, but leave Muslim Males alone lest they be guilty of profiling.
According to The Book of Revelation:
The Anti-Christ will be a man, in his 40s, of MUSLIM descent, who will deceive the nations with persuasive language, and have a MASSIVE Christ-like appeal….the prophecy says that people will flock to him and he will promise false hope and world peace, and when he is in power, he will destroy everything. Read the Revelation, if you don’t believe me !
(Don’t forget that the only one who can give this world permanent peace is Jesus Christ, not any one person or group.)
For the award winning act of stupidity of all times the people of America want to elect, to the most powerful position on the face of the planet — the Presidency of the United States of America — A male of Muslim descent who is the most extremely liberal Senator in Congress (in other words an extremist) and in his 40s.
Have the American people completely lost their minds, or just their power of reason ???
I’m sorry but I refuse to take a chance on the ‘unknown’ candidate Obama…
As the writer of the award winning story ‘Forrest Gump’ so aptly put it,
‘Stupid Is As Stupid Does’
Each opportunity that you have to send it to a friend or media outlet…do it!
or again. . . just delete if you disagree.
====END OF COPIED MESSAGE====
While I can understand the outrage many people, myself included, feel when reflecting upon the events mentioned above; I can’t help thinking that the folks who send out emails like this are a big part of the problem we have in moving the United States, and the world for that matter, toward a better understanding between nations, religions, and other societal groups in conflict.
The policy that we do not negotiate with terrorists is right only part of the time. What I never hear anyone in charge contemplate is why these people feel so compelled to hate and attack us and what might be done to find out and peacefully resolve the situation to the benefit of all. I’d also like to point out that any person or group of people who murder any other individual or group of people, is acting in an extremist manner. All murders are extremist hate crimes and all murderers should be held to account for their actions.
Now, let’s address the historical facts listed in the above email. While all of the events listed are definitely historical facts, that they were all perpetrated by “male Muslim extremists” is not necessarily so.
“In 1968, Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed by a Muslim male extremist.”
Yes, Bobby Kennedy was indeed assassinated in 1968 by Sirhan Sirhan, but Sirhan was NOT a Muslim. Sirhan was born in Jerusalem to Christian parents and was raised in the Maronite Church. In his adult life however, he made several religious conversions, joining Baptist and Seventh-day Adventist churches. You see, there are many people living in the middle east who are neither Jews or Muslims, many Christians live in the region too.
“In 1972, at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped and massacred by Muslim male extremists.”
Okay, this event did happen and the terrorists were most likely Muslims and all were male. Bad people do bad things for bad reasons, I’ll give you that one.
“In 1979, the US embassy in Iran was taken over by Muslim male extremists.”
I remember this event. A quick Internet search did not confirm that all of the Iranian students involved were male. I seem to recall seeing an interview with a woman who was involved, but I could be wrong. While reprehensible, it is my understanding that the extremists who perpetrated this crime did so in retaliation for American involvement in the British backed, CIA orchestrated coup of 1953.
The Iranian parliament elected Mohammed Mossadegh as prime minister in 1951 and he set about working to nationalize the oil industry, Iran’s most valuable resource, so that the profits could be used for the benefit of the Iranian people. In 1953, at the request of the British government, the Eisenhower administration sent in the CIA and the resulting coup returned to power the Shah, a brutal dictator and puppet of the West. That in no way justifies kidnapping or any other form of terrorism, but as long as our government insists on manipulating the inner workings of other sovereign nations to fit its own purposes, this is the kind of thing we can expect.
“During the 1980′s a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by Muslim male extremists. In 1983, the US Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by Muslim male extremists.”
The Beirut barracks bombing occurred on October 23, 1983, during the Lebanese Civil War. Two truck bombs struck separate buildings in Beirut housing United States and French military forces—members of the Multinational Force in Lebanon. Hundreds of servicemen, the majority being U.S. Marines, were killed in the attacks. The bombings led to the withdrawal of the international peacekeeping force from Lebanon, where they had been stationed since the Israeli 1982 invasion of Lebanon.
Between 1982 and 1992, a series of hostage takings in Lebanon occurred. There were a total of 96 foreign hostages of 21 national origins, 25 of them were Americans, 16 were French, 12 Brits, 7 Swiss and 7 West Germans, mostly journalists, diplomats, or teachers. The primary reason for the kidnappings seems to have been as insurance against retaliation by the U.S. or Syria against Hezbollah, which is thought to have been responsible for the killing of 230 Americans in the 1983 Marine barracks and embassy bombings in Beirut. Many groups claimed responsibility for the kidnappings while Hezbollah, sometimes described as an “umbrella group” of Shia radicalism in Lebanon, denied it.
Once again, I doubt that there were no women involved in these incidents, and while detestable, one must again look at the big picture to understand the tangled histories of all parties involved to find the reasons why. Only then can we hope to begin resolving the deep seated conflicts in the region and move forward; something I do not ever recall seeing my government earnestly attempt to do, with the possible exception of the Carter administration, but that’s a different issue.
“In 1985, the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked and a 70 year old American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard in his wheelchair by Muslim male extremists.”
On October 7, 1985, four men representing the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF) took control of the cruise ship Achille Lauro off the coast of Egypt. Holding the passengers and crew hostage, the hijackers ordered the ship to sail to Tartusfont, Syria, and demanded the release of 50 Palestinians then in Israeli prisons. After being refused permission to dock at Tartusfont, the hijackers murdered one wheelchair-bound passenger – an American named Leon Klinghoffernt – because he was Jewish, and threw his body overboard.
I can’t deny that this happened, or that the terrorists were men, however, to assume that any middle-eastern, non-Jewish person committing politically motivated criminal acts is always a Muslim is a bit prejudicial. There are plenty of other religions practiced in that region, and as we shall see, even Christians are not immune to extremist criminals acting upon their beliefs.
Wait a minute… This has gone far enough.
All of the other crimes listed were indeed perpetrated by Islamic FUNDAMENTALIST extremists. All were terrible crimes against their victims and the rest of humanity as well, but to be fair, let’s take a look now at a few non-Muslims who have committed heinous crimes against their fellow man based upon their own misguided, dare I say extremist views.
1. Timothy McVeigh, a United States Army veteran and security guard who bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. He was convicted of 11 federal offenses, and was sentenced to death and executed for his role in the April 19, 1995 bombing. His act, which killed 168 people, was the deadliest act of terrorism within United States borders until September 11, 2001. Although by the time of his crime he had fallen away from active practice, McVeigh was raised Catholic and was given the Catholic sacrament of Viaticum before his execution. McVeigh claimed that the bombing was revenge for “what the U.S. government did at Waco and Ruby Ridge.” McVeigh visited Waco during the standoff, where he spoke to a news reporter about his anger over what was happening there.
You might recall that the Branch Davidians were a Christian sect who were accused but never convicted of any crimes and the resulting siege by the US government ended with the burning and demolition of their compound and the deaths of many men, women, and innocent children inside. The Ruby Ridge incident refers to a shoot out that occurred between Randy Weaver, his family and agents of the US government. Weaver’s wife and child were killed in the incident which according to Weaver was the result of federal agents entrapping him on weapons charges and his subsequent refusal to appear in court. Both the Weaver family and the Branch Davidians were Christians who held what many would consider to be extremist beliefs.
2. Eric Rudolph, known as the Olympic Park Bomber, committed a series of bombings across the southern United States which killed two people and injured at least 150 others. He declared that his bombings were part of a guerrilla campaign against abortion and what he describes as “the homosexual agenda.” Rudolph has been connected with the Christian Identity movement and has also called himself a Roman Catholic at war over abortion. When asked about his religion Rudolph has stated, “I was born a Catholic, and with forgiveness I hope to die one.” In other written statements, Rudolph has cited Biblical passages and offered religious motives for his terrorist anti-abortion campaign.
3. More recently, there is the case of Jim Adkisson, the 58 year-old white man who earlier this year killed two people in a Tennessee Unitarian church. Police later found a note suggesting that he targeted the congregation out of hatred for its liberal policies, including its acceptance of gay people as equal members of the human race. In his home was also found a collection of right-wing propaganda authored by the likes of Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, among others. I’m not going to make the leap and label this nut a Christian, but I can’t help but notice his ideas and choice of political reading material fits the right-wing fundamentalist profile. It is without question that his motivations were extremist. One more example of Christian extremism and I’ll move on.
4. Adolph Hitler was a Christian. Hitler often praised Christian heritage, German Christian culture, and professed a belief in Jesus Christ. In his speeches and publications Hitler spoke of Christianity as a central motivation for his antisemitism. I’ll leave it at that since I’m sure we are all well aware of extremist evil that Adolph Hitler perpetrated on the world.
Moving on to the content that set off this little educational crusade of mine, the sender went on to make several statements regarding racial or religious profiling. While I am definitely an unapologetic progressive and a liberal, I have no problem with our airport security singling out anyone who raises suspicion of possible threats to the public, traveling or otherwise; but being brown and of a non-European culture alone is not probable cause to suspect terrorist activity. McVeigh and Rudolph prove that.
Now let’s get to the remarks about Senator Obama being the anti-Christ based on the Book of Revelation. What a load of manure! Just to be certain, I spent about an hour tonight re-reading this section of the Bible and I find nothing in there that says anything about anybody being a Muslim or about forty years old. If I recall my junior high world history correctly, Islam didn’t even come into existence until several hundred years after the time of John, the author of Revelations.
I’m sure a more literate biblical scholar can straighten me out on this point, but it really doesn’t matter. For one thing, I don’t believe Barack Obama is anything close to the second coming of Christ. I do believe he’s a man who believes that people should practice the golden rules that they preach and put their money where their mouths flap open. I’m also pretty sure that if Jesus came back today, his most vocal followers wouldn’t recognize him and would probably spit on him on their way to church.
Additionally, a President Obama will not be able to heal the world or work any other miracle because, again, he’s just a man, albeit a very smart man who will be bound by the rules of our Constitution and who understands that there are two other branches of government there to provide checks and balances; something our current President seems to not comprehend.
You know, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to call the fundamentalist christian, anglo-centric views expressed in the original message I received as EXTREMIST. Be careful of which brush you choose to paint with, you might find that you get a little bit of it on yourself.