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RE: Where are all the moderate Muslims now?
by Karen Ramsey


September 25, 2004

Back in the eleventh century, for political, economic, and religious reasons, Christians sought a Holy War against Muslims that became known as the Crusades.  Christians, Jews, and Muslims all revered the Holy Land, Palestine.  Christian crusaders set out from Europe to wrest control of the Holy Land from the Muslims, who had occupied Jerusalem since the seventh century.  Christians conquered Jerusalem and controlled it for a while.  In July 1099, the slaughter perpetrated on Muslims by Christians was extremely bloody.  On the way to Palestine, Christians also attacked and persecuted Jews as well, claiming that they had murdered Jesus.  There were more than likely Jews and Muslims who wondered then where all the moderate Christians were. The divisions among these three world religions deepened because of the Crusades.
Nearly another millenium later, the barbarism that religious extremists are capable of is mind-boggling.  But let's remember that extremists exist everywhere.  Our own home-grown extremists/terrorists have wreaked havoc because of their misguided views and hatred.  To me, that's the main motivator for terrorists, no matter what their supposed religious calling.  Hatred is a powerful force that sadly must be reckoned with.  We have to be careful about hypocrisy, too, if we wish to alter the misconceptions others in the world may have about us. Oklahoma City and Abu Ghraib come to mind.
Sadly, it often seems to be the holier-than-thou types who point fingers and place blame who are the most consumed by hatred and intolerance.  I think most Muslims are just as dismayed by terrorist criminals who pretend to be motivated by Muslim holy scripture as moderate Christians are when extremist Christians harass women and kill doctors.

What the world needs now is love, sweet love, just like the old song advocates, and a whole lot less intolerance, misunderstanding, and hatred.
Karen Ramsey
Ketchikan, AK - USA



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