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Are all Terrorists Muslim?

This past week, Fox News host Brian Kilmeade stated that “all terrorists are Muslims,” while discussing Bill O’Reilly’s appearance on “The View.” O’Reilly remarked that, “there was a certain group of people that attacked us on 9/11 … it wasn’t just one person, it was one religion. Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.”  Obviously, not all terrorists are Muslim.  Have we forgotten of the Real Irish Republican Army, the Shining Path, and the Ku Klux Klan?  Who is a terrorist?  What is a terrorist organization?

The Los Angeles Times stated that, “domestic terrorism in the U.S. is so widespread that it has its own Wikipedia page and most of those groups don’t appear to be Muslim; some blow up abortion clinics, some are eco-terrorists, some are just twisted Americans like the deceased Timothy McVeigh (who claimed to be a Christian).”  Where is all this anti-Muslim propaganda leading to?

Just last week four teenagers in Staten Island, New York, were accused of beating a Muslim classmate they called a terrorist.  Kristian, the victim, told the New York Daily News: “[They] punched me in my groin, and I fell to the floor. They started kicking me, and calling me ‘You f****** terrorist,’ ‘You f****** Muslim.” The family emigrated from Trinidad, although their son was born in the United States.  According to Kristian’s parents, “he’s gone from a joyful, smiling, all-American child to one who’s withdrawn and quiet and sad.”  The assailants were charged with assault and aggravated harassment as a hate crime.

Teenagers are not the only ones committing hate crimes against Muslims.  This past August, a New York film student, Michael Enright, was accused of slashing a cab driver’s throat after asking the driver if he was Muslim.  Enright is facing charges of second-degree attempted murder as a hate crime, second-degree assault as a hate crime, second-degree aggravated harassment as a hate crime, and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon in the August 24 incident, according to New York police.  Ahmed Sharif, the victim, stated that, “it still shakes me; my mind is still shocked . . . I still have nightmares.  I wake up after two or three hours of sleep. I can’t sleep at night.”

With the terrorist alerts in Europe, will the anti-Muslim sentiment take hold across Europe?  Is the United States and the world experiencing a new form of xenophobia, this time focused on Muslims?  Where will it lead?

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