[Ibrahim Hooper is national communications director for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group. He may be contacted at: email@example.com.] Rocky Mountain News columnist Vincent Carroll had the unfortunate luck to choose Thursday to release an Op-Ed titled “The McVeigh Exception,” which claims Americans are justified in linking Muslims to violence. SEE: http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/news_columnists/ (Scroll down in Carroll’s April 14th commentary.) Carroll sought to refute my own syndicated commentary, “Terror Knows No Faith,” that attempted to sever the false link between Islam and terror by reminding readers of the anti-Muslim backlash following the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.
In that commentary, I said: “As we mark the 10th anniversary of the Oklahoma City attack, let us all remember that the use of violence and terrorism is not the sole preserve of any race, religion or ethnic group. Let us also redouble our efforts to understand one another and promote peaceful resolutions to all conflicts, whether domestic or foreign.” SEE: “Terror Knows No faith: American Muslims and the 10th Anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing” http://religion.upi.com/view.php?StoryID=20050412-124811-1156r (The commentary above is available for local publication by through CAIR’s free ISLAM-OPED national syndication service. E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org for permission.)
Carroll wrote: “Hooper’s thesis is that there are evil people of all faiths and nationalities (true), that it is vile for vigilantes to target innocent Muslims (true), and that it is wrong to associate terrorism with Muslims (dream on, friend)”¦So long as (Oklahoma City bomber) Timothy McVeigh is the exception in terrorism cases and the (Muslim) men indicted this week are the norm, people will do what they always do: draw conclusions.” Perhaps Mr. Carroll was so busy writing his column that he failed to hear about the sentencing of Eric Rudolph, a member of the Christian Identity Movement, to four life sentences without parole for the 1996 Olympic park bombing in Atlanta and attacks on two abortion clinics and a nightclub.
According to the Associated Press, “Rudolph called himself a Roman Catholic at war over abortion.” What conclusions would Mr. Carroll have us draw from those facts? I for one will never blame Christianity, or any other religion, for the deranged acts of individuals acting outside the boundaries of their faith.