Saturday, December 5, 2015

"Don't let fear rule your life."

"How to defeat terrorism? Don't be terrorized. Don't let fear rule your life. Even if you are scared."-  Salman Rushdie, author


           Terrorism isn't a modern phenomenon. It has always existed with varying tactics to strike fear in the hearts and minds of citizens who want to live in a free society. For a brief moment terrorists may appear to be formidable. The violent acts employed by ISIL, Boko Haram, Hezbollah and other terrorist groups lack real political power or relevant sustainable ideas. Like any gang or cult,  ISIL uses enticing recruitment rhetoric. ISIS produces slick Hollywood style movie trailer propaganda videos glorifying the perverted "illusion" of camaraderie or the bonds of unbreakable brotherhood. A terrorists organizations primary objective is to obtain power by fear, attempting to destroy what people in a true democracy live and die for- freedom. As a way of life given the choice between blind allegiance, constant oppression, violent threats, rape and murder or equality, education, art, dancing, music, love and freedom of expression which would you choose? And  yes, we do get to choose in this country. Choice is part of our United States Constitution and our universal human rights. Democratic principles have and always will allow human beings to live with the greatest sense of dignity, liberty and justice.
        Currently, the panic that many politicians, media outlets and religious groups are promoting across our country is dangerous and incomprehensible. Intimidation and fear play directly into the hands of what terrorists want to accomplish. Suggesting a preference of Christian over Muslim refugees, the immediate closure of mosques, Muslim data bases, torturing family members of suspected terrorists, a gun in every day care goes against everything this nation represents. Irrational fear mongering puts every American life at home and abroad in jeopardy including those in our armed services.
      Keeping proper perspective is essential especially if you have children. Why would you teach them to be afraid? Last time I checked we are still the land of the free and the home of the brave. Know the facts.There are many reliable resources to consult if you don't understand our own laws, a regions history, a religion or political philosophy. Don't assume or allow other people to influence your ideas about countries and customs they know absolutely nothing about. Education and diplomacy is the greatest weapon we have against terrorist ideology. We must work together in our communities and across the globe with strength, courage, compassion and understanding. What do terrorists fear most? Terrorists are threatened by education, equality and peace. Knowledge is truly the ultimate power.