Extremism has no religion

By Jenn Schanz, Communications Intern

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Distorting religion to fit extremist propaganda is a growing issue in today’s globalized society, and recent tragedies have proven that the danger of distortion is not exclusive to Islam.

Norwegians and citizens around the world witnessed the terror of extremism on Friday, July 22 when xenophobic, racist, and Anti-Muslim sentiments were falsely concealed behind the mask of Christianity.

The self proclaimed perpetrator of the massacre, 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik is being labeled by the mainstream media as a ‘far right Christian extremist,’ inappropriately linking him to a religion which holds no support for his heinous actions.

Extremists never reflect the creeds of the religions they pretend to represent. Breivik’s inhumane, vile actions are no more reflective of Christian doctrine than were Osama Bin Laden’s September 11th attacks reflective of Islam.

In Breivik’s 1500 page manifesto he makes the claim that “Christianity has for centuries waged a lively polemic against Islam.” Among several other baseless claims, this one in particular blatantly illustrates Breivik’s misunderstanding of the two faiths, and clear objective; to mobilize hate propaganda by promoting religious war, not tolerance.

For if Breivik actually was a Christian, and had even a limited knowledge of these Abrahamic religions he is attempting to paint as polarities of one another, he would know that Christianity and Islam share far more similarities than differences.

Perhaps the most relevant among them being the condemnation of needless killing and murder.

Also included in Breivik’s manifestos are several slanderous remarks toward interfaith groups, religious tolerance agencies, and advocacy organizations; CAIR included.

In addition to citing nonexistent statements by CAIR chairmen Omar Ahmad, Breivik also accuses CAIR of accepting $50 million from Prince Alwaleed ibn Talal of Saudi Arabia, who is currently the second largest shareholder if the FOX News Corporation, a corporation CAIR has regularly challenged for its anti-Muslim news angles.

Given these libelous remarks, it is clear that Breivik’s mission was never to inform, but to distract.

Media outlets and political figures alike must differentiate between world faiths and crazed terrorists who attempt to commandeer them.

Furthermore, it is imperative for religious and political figures to support and defend one another against our common obstacle, extremism.

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