Thoughts on crime, fear and pluralism in the face of extreme hate

I’ve been thinking about this since the boys were kidnapped. So much has happened since then.

The difference between NY scary and Israel scary is the difference between crime and terrorism. I’ve been giving this a lot of thought lately. Crime is everywhere. And it’s worse in some places than others. And it’s scary to live in a place with a high crime rate because crime can happen to anyone. And you take precautions, and maybe carry pepper spray, and you live your life. Terrorism is different, in particular radical Islam terrorism, because there are no precautions you can take. The terrorist is not out to steal your money because he’s a social misfit who can’t control his law breaking urges. The terrorist is a person who is ideologically and purposefully committed to your destruction. He believes with every fiber of his despicable being that what he is doing is what Allah wants and that it will bring him eternal glory.
And it pains me to no end to be writing this. Because, to my pluralistic western mind, it sounds and feels do similar to racism. But I’ll tell you why it’s not. Because I do not hate Muslims or Arabs. I do not automatically judge someone who is Arab as being a terrorist. However, I have immutable proof that it is Arabs who are Muslim that are the terrorist that are committed to my destruction. And for that reason and that reason only do I feel this way. If I were on my way to a interfaith peace conference in Jerusalem, I would still be afraid that I might be killed by an Arab on the way. And I would still be able to sit next to an Arab who chose to attend a peace conference and offer them love and tolerance.

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