Too much being made on the issue of religion?

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The shootings at Fort Hood, Tex., continue to make headlines. This week, we ask of our In Theory panel whether too much is being made about the religion of alleged shooter Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan.

Here is a sample of what our panel had to say:

Graham Bothwell: “… The presence in our own society of many good citizens of the Muslim faith is ample evidence that the action of one Muslim person should not color our judgment about that entire community. The same would have to be said regarding similar behavior by individuals from other religious groupings.”

Jon Barta: “It is valid to raise the issue of religion in this case. It has been valid in incidents like this since the day radical Muslims began murdering Americans in the name of Allah. We are naïve to ignore it and to refrain from exploring the backgrounds of those who wish to join the military if there is a “risk factor” of previous connection with hostile parties of any nature.”

Paige Eaves: “… We cannot make ‘too much'” of religion, for indeed, it is this central, holy call to peace and justice that will ultimately save us all. When together we study our sacred texts, we find a God of compassion and mercy who does not countenance violence, but who calls us to examine ourselves and our motives, and take the road less traveled toward peace and reconciliation.”

Levent Akbarut: “It is an understandable emotional reaction based on the false perception that somehow Islam is the driving force behind such a tragedy. In times like these, American Muslims feel deep anguish, first for the victims, their families and our country, and on another level, for their faith, having to explain yet again that true and authentic Islam has nothing to do with hatred and violence.”

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Written by Michael J. Arvizu

November 18, 2009 at 3:23 pm

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