Thursday, 6 April 2017

"Christians and atheists can be misguided, too". SCMP, March 4 2017.

While I was away Sidiq Bazarwala answered my letter in the South China Morning Post
I can't be bothered answering, mainly because I doubt the Post will run a letter from me as it would be the fourth in a tit-for-tat between Bazarwala and me. "Enough", will think the Post, I'm sure, as that's been the way in the past. 
That said, I may get to challenging some of Bazarwala's assertions. 
Note the headline to the letter. A case of 
tu quoque. And who would deny that Christians and atheists can be misguided?

Anyway, here's his letter, a month old already:
Christians and atheists can be misguided, too
I refer to Peter Forsythe's letter ("Moderate Muslims should not deny Islam terror links", February 25) in reply to my letter ("Singling out Muslims as the main terrorist threat is grossly unfair", February 16).
He acknowledges, "white supremacists kill more people" than Muslims but interestingly cites "if you don't count the 9/11 attacks (3,000 deaths) and Orlando shootings (49 deaths)" but why start counting on 9/11 when white extremism and Muslim militancy has been a mainstay since the 1990s, if not earlier?
Also, why not encompass the "nearly four million civilians killed during the War on Terror by America and its allies since 9/11", according to the Center for Research on Globalisation?
Mr Forsythe, however, insists, "The issue is not body count but intent…Killings in the name of Islam are usually accompanied by shouts of "Allahu Akbar" and white supremacists don't murder while shouting "Jesus is Lord". In November 2015, an evangelical Christian, Robert Dear killed three and injured nine at an anti-abortion clinic in Colorado. He even praised people who attacked abortion providers, saying they were doing "God's work". In court, he praised the Army of God, a Christian terrorist group that is responsible for similar killings, such as Atlanta Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph, who also bombed a lesbian bar.
Then there's Paul Jennings Hill, Scott Roeder, Micah Johnson and many other Christians with ­similar motives .
Atheists don't fare well, either. Stephen Hicks, of the Chapel Hill shootings of Muslims, and Chris Harper-Mercer, of the Oregon killings of Christians, are but two examples of proud atheists with zero tolerance for religion, illustrating how religion is not always the cause of violence.
It seems the rules for media condemnation are different when misguided Christians or atheists commit acts of violence.
White Americans are never asked to publicly condemn their actions but an unfair perpetual finger is pointed at Muslims demanding that "moderate Muslims" deny, condemn and disavow the actions of a minority of deviant Muslims who commit acts of violence.
Mr Forsythe is ill-informed. If the Koran, Bible or Torah said nothing but "do good and avoid evil", you can be sure there will be people who will still misconstrue its true meaning and commit acts of violence.
Siddiq Bazarwala, Discovery Bay