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Conflict & Tragedy

Muslim & Christian Extremists:Are We Overlooking One Terror While Totally Focused On The Other?

July 31, 2011]------We hear the words terror and terrorists repeatedly in the media-- on television shouted by talking heads and posturing politicians alike. We see the titles emblazoned across newspapers and Online news outlets and blogs. We hear it solemnly spoken from the lips of the President down to Joe the Plumber on 'Main Street.'

But just what is real and what is rhetoric? September 11th was startlingly real to all of us and the horror is imprinted on many of our minds for eternity. Those who committed that atrocity were Muslims extremists.

However, there is another frightening, sinister enemy lurking among us that hasn't gotten much air-time. Then Norway happened. Many stopped calling the mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik a terrorist, when the dust settled and the media had time to clear up the discrepancy as they apparently saw it.

It didn't matter that he had just murdered innocent men women and children--76 total-- in the name of his crazy religious, political and ideological beliefs--exactly like extremist Muslim terrorists.

But he wasn't a Muslim extremist like most automatically thought. He was an Anglo Christian extremist whose online manifesto outlined in stark detail just who he was, so that no one could be mistaken.

Why did many in the media stop calling him a terrorist when they learned he was a Caucasian and Christian Right winger? Isn't terror, terror, regardless of who's wielding the destruction?

Moreover Fox News, that bastion of unbiased journalism, fell over themselves in righteous indignation about the media calling him a Christian. How dare we call him a Christian extremist even if he declared who he was in bold, living colors on the World Wide Web.

Breivik wrote in his online maniacal musings that he "was a modern day Knights Templar," and apparently saw himself as a Christian crusader out to cleanse the world of Muslims and other "undesirables." In deep irony, the Muslim extremists have the same goal, just different targets.

CNN's Fareed Zakaria gave some fascinating statistics on terrorism around the world: he said "Of the 294 terror attacks committed in Europe in 2009, only one was conducted by Islamists. That's a third of one percent. There were 249 terror attacks in Europe in 2010. Only three of those attacks were carried out by Islamist terrorists. Again, that's about one percent. Most of the attacks were by separatist groups or anarchists."

Hmmm. I told you it was fascinating. Yet we continue to focus on Muslim extremists and barely hear a word about the terror lurking right in our midst. Remember that shocking day in Arizona on January 8, when that 22-year-old extremist, Jared L Loughner, shot and killed 6 innocent people including a little 10 year Christina and a Federal Judge, while severely wounding many others along with Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford, his intended target?

Or our home-grown terrorist Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma bombing on April 19, 1995, where 168 people died in his senseless act of violence?

Given the stats by Zakaria, why don't we pay more attention to Christian extremists and anarchists?