Muslim Violence in the Middle East Results in Tragedy

The US ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, was killed when the American Embassy was overrun in Benghazi. Several other embassy staffers were killed. Ambassador Stevens is the first US ambassador killed in the line of duty since 1979. There are lots of things in this world that I don’t understand. Senseless violence (or any violence for that matter) in the name of religion is sad, ironic and goes against the Judeo – Christian – Islamic heritage. The God that I worship, as a Christian, is about love, kindness and understanding. The God that I worship is supposed to be the exact same God of Islam. Then again, when you look back in history, senseless violence has followed religion everywhere. We had the Crusades. We had prolonged and extended violence in Northern Ireland as Protestants fought Catholics. In this country, the United States, we had an Al Qaeda-like terrorist organization, the Ku Klux Klan, who wrap themselves in biblical scripture to justify their acts of barbarism. We’ve also seen the rise of various extremist groups over the last decade or so and many of these groups try to use biblical scripture to justify their unjustifiable acts. (I do not want to forget to mention that other embassies were attacked in the Muslim world, including our embassy in Egypt.)

Tomorrow, or maybe later on tonight, I will talk about Mitt Romney’s senseless attack on President Obama. At some later time we will need to discuss the vulnerability of our ambassadors worldwide.

From NYT:

In a statement confirming the four fatalities, President Obama said he strongly condemned the killings and had ordered increased security at American diplomatic posts around the world. It was the first death of an American envoy abroad in more than two decades.

The attack at the compound in Benghazi was far more deadly than administration officials first announced on Tuesday night, when Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said one American had been killed and one injured.

Another of those killed was Sean Smith, an information management officer who joined the foreign service 10 years ago, Mrs. Clinton said in a statement. The State Department did not identify the other two, pending notification of their relatives. Mr. Smith, who was a husband and father of two, previously served in Iraq, Canada and the Netherlands.

“All the Americans we lost in yesterday’s attacks made the ultimate sacrifice,” Mrs. Clinton said. “We condemn this vicious and violent attack that took their lives, which they had committed to helping the Libyan people reach for a better future.”

3 Responses

  1. Violence follows human beings everywhere, not only religion. The most senseless mass violence has been on the extreme left, Stalin and Mao. These recent killings are small potatoes compared to the ongoing slaughter in the Rwanda and Congo. None of these conflicts have strong religious underpinnings.
     
    To say that the Klan is like Al Qaeda is a little laughable. May-be in some Klansman dream.  Other than an advocacy of violence, I see little similarity. When was the last violent attack by a Klansman?
     
    You make the same mistake as many of the left by asserting that the Klan is a Christian extremist organization. The organizing principle of the Klan has always been about race. The burning cross has been a sign of blasphemy to most Christians.   We don’t have religious schools or churches pumping out Klansmen.
     
    The conflict between the Irish and Brits was also more about race than religion Paul Johnson covers this well in his History of the English People. The suppression of the Irish began a couple of centuries before England broke from Rome.
     
    There is nothing comparable to the recent madness among Islamic radicals and Christianity or any other major religion today.

  2. if, by some reason, you think that I was inferring that every single situation that I mentioned was exactly like the next, I’m sorry, that’s not what I meant at all. I meant there were similarities. If you’re arguing the Ku Klux Klan did not wrap their racism and a cloak of religion, then I think you’re wrong. We could discuss and argue it. Yes, the Ku Klux Klan was about white supremacy. They were not a religious organization first. I think we can agree on this.
     
    I completely agree that throughout human existence we resort to violence more often than any of us would like to admit. We have seen killings on a huge scale in Africa, Cambodia, Germany, Russia, the Balkans and more.
     
    I guess, the point of my post was twofold – first, the Judeo – Christian – Islamic religions, as I understand it, is based on love and not violence. Secondly, I do not really understand  exactly what happened in Libya we/I need more information.
     
    As usual, I appreciate your thoughtful comments.

  3.  @ecthompsonmd
     
    Thanks for the clarification. No doubt that some have use religious arguments to argue for racial superiority. However, over, the last century,  the biggest arguments for racial superiority have relied on pseudoscientific, low brow interpretations of Darwinism.
     
    Anyway, I agree about Libya. More riots in the Mideast.

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.

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