Americans have always thought that everyone is entitled to their opinion as long as it didn’t reach out and hurt someone else. As the varied nations and cultures of the planet become more globally aware, Americans are coming to understand that what we call reason or common sense does not have the same meaning to all human beings.
Whether it is for reasons of power, or sincerely held religious beliefs, regardless of what most Muslims say their religion really teaches, we have to come to terms with the fact that there are those that truly believe that the goal of furthering Islam and doing away with blasphemy, justifies any means. This has become a cause for fear on all sides.
We non-Muslims in the West fear that more of these acts will come here. We live in distrust and anger at Islam as a religion and Muslims as individuals. We come together and show solidarity in anger because we would rather be angry than fearful. It feels less cowardly to be angry, but anger is just fear in disguise. We fear all because of a few and that gives the power to the few. We turn our lives over to them when we fear.
The non-militant Muslims are now in fear of not only non-Muslims but of each other. They have to quickly speak out that they do not condone such actions. Do we even believe them? But who among their neighbors might secretly harbor militant tendencies? Muslim countries are in fear of Muslim militant groups. They fear takeover. They fear that western nations will not help. They may fear that we will help. They cannot be seen as taking sides militarily against Muslims even though they have expressed their disapprobation of attacks such as those at Charlie Hebdo and the activities in Nigeria by Boko Haram.
What do the terrorists themselves fear if anything? Do they fear each other? We know that ISIL used to be a part of Al-Qaeda. We also know that the beginnings of Boko Haram came from Al-Qaeda. What happens if they reunite? Should the world fear that? We are led to believe that because they will die for their cause that the individual terrorists do not fear anything but is that true? Do they fear failure? Do they fear that their story will never be heard? Do they have any doubts as their bomb explodes or a bullet stops their hearts?
What should we do about this situation? What can we do? As fear mounts all across the globe, people are either coming together or pushing others away. Will we look for a country, or a person who is charismatic enough to bring disparate peoples together? Is there such an entity? What would it use to unite all people? What religion or creed would it put forth? What would be its motivation? What are we willing to give up to get rid of our fear? What is world peace worth? There is an often quoted saying that is attributed to Henry Spaak, one of the founding fathers of the European Union. I cannot confirm the attribution but, I suspect that the sentiment is true for many people today. For the record, it is not true for me.
What we want is a man of sufficient stature to hold the alliances of all people and to lift us out of the economic morass into which we are sinking. Send us such a man, and be he god or devil, we will receive him.
What will we have to give up to be rid of our fear?
Be anxious for nothing but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.