The Damaging Effects of Language

Can we please stop using the terms “Radical Islam” and “Islamic Extremists?” We do not use the terms “Radical Christian” or “Christian Extremist” to describe the Klan, or the bible thumping south that believe the world is only 6000 years old and don’t believe Global Warming is real. Did we call those in Waco Texas Extreme Christians. No we didn’t. We called it a cult. We don’t use the terms “Radical Judaism” or “Jewish Extremists” to describe Zionists that want expand settlements into Palestinian land and redefine the borders of Israel to reflect those borders laid out in scripture and willing to enforce it with the gun. It’s simple; none of these groups are the standard bearer of their Religions and each of these groups go against what is at any Religions core, which is Love. Let’s just drop all Religious connotations and call them what they are, criminals and murderers.

Adding a Religious connotation to Radical, or Extremist only reinforces the idea that all that follow the religion being extremist and radical. I also consider it Hate Speech, just as I do the caricatures depicting the Muslim Religion and Mohammed. Think back to WWII Germany and the caricatures that depicted those of Jewish Faith in an unsavory light. There is no difference other than the Religion. They are equally distasteful and disgusting today as they were in the years leading up to the War and they do not deserve the protection of Freedom of Expression.

There are good and bad people of all Faiths and walks of life and the bad are not representative of the Faith, or group. We are all flesh and blood, we all have feelings and we all have our beliefs, we are all Human and in each of us is the capacity of Good and Evil. Let’s focus on what is Good about ourselves and others. Let’s focus on our similarities rather than our differences. Whether religious or not, let’s focus on what the true message of these doctrines are, which is Love, Tolerance, Acceptance and Charity.

For the record, I am agnostic and a follower of no Faith.

T J Therien

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