How You Can Start and Operate a Soup Kitchen

Mission Possible: How You Can Start and Operate a Soup Kitchen

President Trump and Terrorism

The Trump presidency has been a travesty and tragedy for America and the world. Nowhere is this more evident than how he has addressed the issue of radical Islamic terrorism. Jim Sues, head of the New Jersey Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations got it right when he said he is doing nothing short of attempting to "incite violence against Muslims."

Make no mistake about it- radical Islamic terrorism is a transcendental threat to America's values, freedom and our way of life. It is absolutely ludicrous to think that driving a wedge between Muslims and non-Muslims or barring folks from the seven countries that were targeted by the President will eliminate terrorism in America. If it could, I'd be for it. Since 9/11 not a single America has been killed by a terrorist attack by anyone from the seven countries (Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen) singled our in President Trump's initial executive order.

Most recently, the majority of terrorist that have killed American and citizens throughout the world have been homegrown. Like poverty, homegrown terrorism is an invasive weed, very difficult to eradicate. The Trump response only serves to provide recruitment ammunition to our enemies that America has declared war against the entire Muslim world.

Estimates are that there are 45,000 Muslim ISIS sympathizes out of 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide and 3 million in the United States. President Trump should be sending the message to the Muslims throughout the world that we recognize that ISIS is a fringe group of zealots and do not represent the prevailing view of the vast majority of Muslims towards the West.

A while back, I went to the main branch of the Mercer County library and in the portico area, where charities put up posters publicizing upcoming events I picked a pamphlet entitled "THE TRUTH ABOUT ISLAM." The booklet contained 47 quotes from Koran that call for war (jihad) against non-Muslims (infidels). Inside the pamphlet in an opening letter to Christian Americans the following appeared "Islam's holy book The Koran repeatedly commands Muslims to wage perpetual warfare against non-Muslims until the end of time or until the entire world is under Islamic Shariah Law. Ultra-violent Jihads organizations and al-Quada are not just a collection of psychopaths determined to kill as many people as possible for no reason. They behave this way because they follow the commands of The Koran strictly: 'I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore, strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them. (Koran 8:12)."'

Contrast this with what appeared in a flyer disseminated by the Institute of Islamic Studies (IIS) following the bombing in Paris last year, "IIS strongly condemns the attacks that took place. This senseless violence is totally unacceptable and against every value and tradition of all faiths...We speak as Muslims, as Americans and as human beings who are committed to peace, healing, democracy and justice for all children and people of the world. We pray that God Almighty bestow peace and stability in all corners of the world for everyone in our global village....If anyone slays a human being...it shall be as though he had slain all humanity: whereas, if anyone saves a life, it shall be a though he had saved the lives of all humanity (Koran 5:32)."

The above quote from the Koran is not included among the quotes included in THE TRUTH ABOUT ISLAM. It gets you thinking that one can probably selectively pull hundreds of passage from the Old and New Testaments that are equally jarring and provokes violence that is antithetical to Judeo-Christian values and contradictory to other portions of the Bible.

The reality is that Islam as practiced by a billion-plus Muslims worldwide is not an inherently violent religion. There is no question that the aberrant gruesome tactics employed by ISIS, al-Qaida and other ultra-violent Islamic groups is abhorrent and that they need to be annihilated through any means available.

There is evidence that ISIS and al-Qaida are using the promise of instant access to heaven as recruitment tool for disaffected Muslim youth who are often times experiencing anomie. Our policies should reflect that our war is not against Islam, but against terrorism. Time and time again the Trump Administration has demonstrated that it does not recognize the difference.

We should heed the words uttered by Tahhir Zafar, Chairman, of the Muslim Center of Greater Princeton, at its opening event on June 20, 2018, that "combating fear mongers is the best way to make America Great" and "the best way to push back from rising waves of prejudice is to stick together."

Instead of kowtowing to nationalism and tribalism, President Trump should be reaching out to American Muslims and urging them to be champions in fighting radical Islam. We should recognize that two thirds of American Muslims are immigrants who chose to come to America and who love our values and lifestyle. They have the most to lose, if radical Islam wins. If we continue to lump them with radical Islam, we are providing fertile grounds for radicals to recruit home grown terrorists from amongst those who are disenfranchised or mentally unstable.