There is only way to describe the cold-blooded massacre of 49 Muslims in New Zealand. It is evil. Fiendishly evil. No condemnation of this heinous, cowardly act can be too strong.
These were Muslim worshipers who were mowed down while performing their Friday prayers in their mosques.
They were not military combatants.
They were not terrorists.
But they were Muslims.
They were foreigners.
Therefore, reasoned their killer, they must be eliminated.
And from what we understand, the shooter was a right-wing extremist, a white supremacist.
But this is where we must not overreact.
This was not the crime of all white people.
This was not the crime of conservatives in general.
This was not the crime of Donald Trump or his supporters.
This was the crime of a sick, demented, evil individual, a man who apparently felt solidarity with others of like mind.
But he is not part of a worldwide, organized, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant conspiracy.
Put another way, if a conservative America thinks we need better border security, that does not make him a partner in this heinous act.
Or if a conservative Swede thinks that Muslims need to become more incorporated into the larger society, that does not mean he wishes for their death, or, God forbid, would try to kill them.
My point is that our response must be reasonable.
We unequivocally condemn this evil act. And we unequivocally condemn the ideology behind it.
There is no possible justification or rationale or excuse that can support this despicable massacre. End of subject.
But let's not use the blood of these Muslims to score political points. That is, quite frankly, obscene.
In fact, we could honestly ask whether there is real concern for the Muslim victims, including the wounded and the families of the slain, or whether there is a desire to make this about politics.
To explain, according to one website, from Feb. 13 to March 15 of this year, there have been roughly 150 terrorist attacks carried out by Muslims worldwide, many of them against fellow Muslims. An example would be the attack by Sunni Muslims on a political gathering of Shiite Muslims in Kabul, Afghanistan, killing 11 and wounding 90.
Why no outcry over this? Or did we even hear about it in the West?
Without a doubt, it is bigger news for a mass slaughter to take place in two mosques in otherwise peaceful New Zealand. As has been widely reported, more people were killed in this massacre than are murdered in an entire year in New Zealand.
And the fact that the killer livestreamed the shooting gave it instant exposure and greater shock value.
But this is a brutal, tragic, horrific act, not a political football. Let us not use the blood of the slain to grease our personal agenda.
And let's also remember that, worldwide, Christians, not Muslims, are the most persecuted religious group.
Just within the last few weeks in Nigeria, 32 Christians were killed in Maro and 46 Christians were killed in Anguwan Gamu, both times by Muslim terrorists. And in Shuwa, Nigeria, a girl [was] injured when two suicide bombers detonate[d] prematurely during an attempt to kill church-goers."
And using very conservative figures, which do not include casualties in the midst of war, Open Doors estimates that 11 Christians are killed every day for their faith.
As for worldwide terror attacks, a 2016 study indicated that "450 of 452 suicide attacks in 2015 were by Muslim extremists."
My point, again, is simple.
The horrific slaughter of these Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand is despicable in every way, leaving in its trail an almost unimaginable amount of suffering and trauma.
That's what should get our attention.
This is not about Islam in general. Or about immigration, per se. Or about conservative values. Or about Trump.
It is about the evil of a fanatical ideology.
It is about the murderous hatred of a racist, white supremacist.
That is more than enough.
Dr. Michael Brown (www.askdrbrown.org) is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Evangelicals at the Crossroads: Will We Pass the Trump Test? Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter, or YouTube.
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