Would you go out into the street and kill someone at random? Of course not, yet there are people who would do not only that, but would plot for months, and blow themselves up into bloody chunks to kill as many total strangers as they can.
A few months ago a bunch of Muslim idiots decided some woman had burned a Koran, and brutally murdered her and dismembered her body. She was innocent, and had done nothing of the sort. A supposedly atheistic man was killed with machetes in front of his house. He wasn’t an atheist. And several peaceful advocates for gay and trans persons have been hacked to death.
Not too long ago in Japan a radical cult released poison gas in the subway, killing many total strangers. Timothy McVeigh in the US exploded a truck bomb outside a government building, killing a lot of people, including many children, all total strangers. I can make no sense of any of these things, or the numerous others that offend our sense of right, because they make no sense.
The latest is several people shot total strangers and blew themselves up at the airport in Istanbul. What next, where? Why? Don’t these people have something better to do?
I’m mystified. I just don’t get it. What makes these people think any of this is a good idea?
Too much hothead stupidity in the world, particularly religious hothead stupidity, particularly fundamentalist Muslim religious hothead stupidity. Killing total strangers at random.
A few weeks back some guy in the US attacked a Buddhist monk, bashing his head against a rock while raving about Muslim terrorists. A Buddhist monk. The monk was hurt, but not seriously injured, and commented about how horrible the guy’s life must be to do something like that. I chalk this one up to right wing stupidity, mostly. It’s the brand of stupidity that imagines committing violence against a random person is some sort of revenge. Revenge is impossible to extract from a random stranger.
You can’t get revenge against someone who has blown himself up. Nor can you get revenge against his family, or his religion, because none of these are the one who committed the presumed offense to begin with. Revenge, in fact, is the most indefensible of motives, even if you do attack the one who committed the original offense, because that just adds to the sum of violence in the world, and creates still more useless revenge motive.
Some violent Muslims in the West strike out to “protect Muslims” by killing people at random. Now, protecting people from violence is a noble goal. There are plenty of intolerant fools who would commit some sort of violence against anyone they perceive as Muslim, and there are many potential ways to protect Muslims. But killing random strangers to “protect Muslims” makes no sense at all. It protects no one, and makes everything worse.
The apparent bomb-maker in the recent attacks in Brussels had everything going for him. He had reached adulthood, had a loving family, was doing well in college, and had a bright, useful future in front of him, while so many others like him had turned to petty crime in their bitter, unrewarding lives. Yet it was the best one among them who built bombs and killed himself in order to murder a couple dozen bystanders he had never seen before, not the embittered cohorts who might at least claim more reason. I don’t get it.
Do the Muslim terrorists who shoot tourists or people in a restaurant or at a musical event think they will change the world and bring everyone to Islam? Fat chance. The opposite is far more likely, and various hotheads will react by committing violence against innocent Muslims. Do those who attack ordinary people they have never seen before imagine that they are wreaking revenge for some person or government that has done them wrong? Stupid as that may seem, Sunnis and Shiites have been killing each other without pause for some 1400 years.
One of the main characteristics of terrorist groups is an imagined class wrong in the past that they seek to rectify by their acts. But of course they cannot do that, and the transgression is usually not real anyway. Hitler famously made the Jews into villains, as so many in history have. The Jews were a sophisticated and highly educated people who made notable contributions to German society, and brought many important qualities and achievements to Germany. Albert Einstein escaped Germany in 1933, and contributed world-changing achievements that Nazis scoffed at and rejected as “Jewish science”—as stupid an appellation as you will find. But Adolph needed a villain, and Jews served the same purpose they had historically. Jews serve the same purpose for fundamentalist Muslims today, but violent fundamentalists are quite happy to kill practically anyone.