Who is the Terrorist?
We live in an age of religious fundamentalism. While the technological revolution moves forward, we continue to be plagued by people who are stuck in the past. Theological texts are their guide and they will do anything to see the morals and codes written millennia ago upheld and carried out to the letter. They threaten not only our freedom, but our very lives.
Who do you think the above paragraph is written about? President Bush and many Republicans would have you believe that these religious fundamentalists are brown-skinned and follow a religious text steeped in violence and threatening Western-values. However, what few fail to acknowledge is that the same description can just as easily be applied to American-grown terrorists; the ones who believe Christianity holds all the answers and just happen to be on the Republican payroll.
The War on Terror has resulted in thousands of lives lost in countries most Americans have never and will never visit. People around the world live their lives in fear of another 9/11 or London bombing. Like Darth Vader in the Star Wars saga, the terrorists are often faceless, yet they are apparently the personification of evil. Bush and his administration march out in front of the world every few months, vowing to fight the good fight and instil a sense of hope in those who have since lost faith.
While Bush vows to eliminate evil overseas, however, the US (and Australia, for that matter) has seen a rise in home-grown terrorism that the Bush administration seems willing to overlook, but more than happy to fund their own religious crusade. These are the religious fundamentalists interested in stripping us of our rights, make us feel guilty for embracing sexuality, and, overall, see us wiped out from the face of the Earth. And while few would call these American zealots terrorists, they are the same ones bombing abortion clinics, protesting at funerals, and the perpetrators of thousands of hate crimes each year.
Months ago, Rosie O'Donnell came under fire when she compared the Islamic religious extremists to the Religious Right and its holier-than-thou followers. Conservative politicos called her unpatriotic and ignorant. Yet, was she really wrong? How can we justify the one religious fight and not the other? And am I the only one who sees this ongoing war on terror nothing more than a thinly-veiled, 21st Century equivalent of the Crusades? "You don't think like us, and you're wrong, so we're going to come in there and make you right."
I will acknowledge the extreme oppression and discrimination that exists in Islamic countries does not exist in the States or other westernised nations. However, how can we fight overseas against oppression when there is notable oppression and discrimination carried out on a day-to-day basis on our home turf? Hurricane Katrina is a perfect example of this. The damage was done and those affected weren't likely to vote Republican, so the government got back to more important things like fighting in the Middle East and arguing over the Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment. And while few people would call the amendment, or similar legislation infringing on women's rights, as domestic terrorism; the taking away of freedoms is suspiciously the opposite of what we're promising to bring the Middle East.