Al Qaeda and the Taliban are far from the only groups that see no problems with using terror to get things their way.
IndiaIn India, a group called the Indian Mujahedeen says it's responsible for killing at least 21 people in a series of bomb attacks in New Delhi. They've got a perfectly good reason, from their point of view: They say they're getting even with India for 60 years of Muslim persecution, and because India has from time to time supported American policies.
IndonesiaMeanwhile, in Indonesia, something went boom around the Jakarta airport. Nobody was killed, nobody was injured, but as of a few days ago the explosion was being treated as a "suspected bomb." Since the explosion blew the cover off a small electrical hub, I think it's possible that it's a case of defective equipment, rather than delinquent people, but I also understand Indonesian authorities wanting to be sure. They've had their hands full with terrorists lately.
India, AgainBack in the east Indian state of Orissa, people have been killed in "Hindu-Christian riots." The latest death was a police officer who was shot as he fled a burning police station. Four or five hundred Hindus had torched the building, then shot at the police as they fled the flames.
Like the Indian Mujahedeen, that bunch may have had a good reason (from their point of view) for arson and murder. The police were taking sides: they'd fired on a crowd to keep it from attacking Christians. Several people died as a result.
On the other hand, of the 140 people arrested in connection with one set of riots, 60 were Hindus accused of attacking Christian churches, 80 were mostly Christians, accused of disturbing the peace.
In the Indian state of Karnataka, a record of a sort was set, with 14 churches attacked in one hour last Sunday.
The Christians may have been asking for trouble. Some of them said that "right-wing Hindus" didn't approve of the Christian opposition to violence in Orissa.
Besides, someone killed a Hindu leader, Laxmananda Saraswati, and four other people last month. At a Hindu school. Between 20 and 30 gunmen burst in and started shooting. The idea seems to be that they must have been Christians.
Christian missionaries are a suspicious lot in the eyes of some Hindu groups. There are stories of forced conversions.
All [Insert Religious Group Here] Are Not TerroristsI have good reason to hope that all Muslims are not terrorists, or supporters of terrorism.
I don't think that all Hindus are terrorists.
And I know that all Christians are not terrorists: mainly because I'm a Christian myself.
However, some 'Christians' are terrorists. The Ku Klux Klan, in its various manifestations, used terror as a weapon against people it didn't approve of. Some people who identified themselves as Christian were members of the Ku Klux Klan. That didn't make all Christians Klanners.
I think there is good reason to believe that the same goes for terrorists who identify themselves as Muslims, Hindus, or members of other beliefs.
It's prudent to remember that the War on Terrorism is a war on terrorism. Not a war on Islam.
In the news:
- "20 feared dead as Hindu-Christian riots spread in India"
CNN (September 16, 2008)
- "New Delhi blasts death toll rises to 21"
CNN (September 14, 2008)
- "Suspected bomb explodes near Indonesian airport"
CNN (September 14, 2008)