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Does "because he thought they were Muslim" make it somehow more acceptable?

I was reading an article earlier about the Milwaukee shooting, and in the comments were some bringing up the very specific doctrines of the hate groups the shooter and his band are associated with. The point being - this asshole did not shoot up the temple because he thought they were Muslim, but rather, because he knew they were not white and not Christian.

It's a fair point - since that IS the doctrine of most Christian Identity and White Supremacist hate groups. By their beliefs, it's not enough to be just white or just Christian - you must be a white Protestant. Catholic isn't good enough. Mixed race, light-skinned Baptist isn't good enough. You absolutely must be both, or you're contributing to the decline of the USofA.

Do we somehow try to make it sound less savage by suggesting he thought they were Muslims? And what does that say about us as a nation, if we suggest, even on a subliminal level, that it's not AS bad if he thought they were Muslim? Is that suggesting that if they had been Muslim, somehow it would've made more sense or been less tragic? In the effort to make sense of it, are we actually belittling one problem and adding to another?

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Asked by NotPanicking at 12:55 AM on Aug. 9, 2012 in Religious Debate

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (20)
  • The sad part is that in some peoples minds, it does make it better if he thought they were Muslim, twisted I know. It's truly amazing how the prejudice & bigoted can internally justify things from mass murder to corporate donations to hate groups and every where in between.

    Answer by 3libras at 1:00 AM on Aug. 9, 2012

  • Because he thought they were Muslin does not make it acceptable at all! What has happened to our society that people can make excuses to make wrongs seem right!

    Answer by PMSMom10 at 1:02 AM on Aug. 9, 2012

  • Not as bad? Personally I would say it is worse. It is bad enough to hate someone (or group) enough to want to kill them. It is worse to not even make sure it is the group you were aiming for.
    WASPs have always been the dominating force in America, at least since the formation ofr the actual US of A. This is nothing new and BTW Catholics do not fall under the Protestant umbrella either.

    It is a very scarey time we live in and it can get a lot scarier if we are not very careful.

    Answer by Dardenella at 1:11 AM on Aug. 9, 2012

  • It is worse to not even make sure it is the group you were aiming for.

    I think you've missed the point rather completely.

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 1:13 AM on Aug. 9, 2012

  • of course not. when i hear someone still making the "he probably thought they were Muslim" comment i wonder if the speaker doesnt know the differences between the religions so he/she assumes the shooter didnt either. 

    also i think the "Muslim" comment makes it easier to understand his hate, not so much agree with it, but thinking since he was a white supremicist he was probably stupid and was convinced that all Muslims were in on 9/11 and are out to kill us all. especially since there are so many Americans who think that way.


    Answer by okmanders at 1:31 AM on Aug. 9, 2012

  • No, it makes him all the more pathetic.

    Answer by maecntpntz219 at 2:10 AM on Aug. 9, 2012

  • Judging a person by the way they look, is not acceptable.


    Answer by louise2 at 7:34 AM on Aug. 9, 2012

  • Acceptable? No. Not at all. There is nothing that makes that monster right.

    However, I agree with okmanders. People look to make sense or to find a plausible reason behind senseless violence. For some, assuming this guy wasn't just hateful and racist, but hateful, racist and stupid gives them a reason to hang on to. I don't see it as all that different than the knee-jerk of "He must be [fill-in your mental defect of choice]" that broke out after the Aurora, CO massacre. Being able to declare a mental insanity defence for that jackass doesn't make dressing up and trying to slaughter as many others as possible 'ok.' But it allows us to find some degree of explanation.

    There is an irrational comfort in being finding an 'explanation' to the unexplanable. It's not condoning the actions, it's looking to tell yourself "Well, I'll be ok. This guy just...[fill in useless excuse.]"

    Answer by ldmrmom at 7:40 AM on Aug. 9, 2012

  • *I* don't think it makes it more acceptable, but I think it ties into the Islamaphobia that still tends to trend our nation, drawing attention to the fact that there *are* people who *would* take such an excuse as some kind of justification. It just further points to the anti-Muslim sentimentality so many do still hold. Honestly, if he is truthful in his explanation, I feel it actually makes it worse. Not only were people killed in the name of hate, but also in the name of complete ignorance - not that it would have made it any better if he had actually killed Muslims, if you get what I mean. It just shows how ill informed so many Americans are, to be so hateful of something and know so little - so little that they don't even know the difference between Islam and Sikhism. It begs the question if their hatred is even informed (doubtful), and what kind of difference it would make if they were actually educated on the matter....

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 8:45 AM on Aug. 9, 2012

  • Love that meme, okmanders!  I have it on my FB page, too! 

    There is a culture of fear in this country.  Who, exactly, is responsible for it I don't know for sure.  Those who aren't WASPS are highly suspect by a certain number of our population.  Remember, Pat Robertson, the evangelical putz-almighty, accused atheists of the attack.  His message was that it isn't those groups who embrace some sort of deity that are bad, it's immoral, ungodly atheists who are to blame for all evil in this world.  We live in a culture of blame, and it's people like him who help perpetuate hate and distrust.  He was more encompassing, though, of those who are "good".  He included, at least, people of any faith.  People like the shooter are at the other end of hate, wanting to rid the world of anyone who isn't white enough or the "right" kind of Christian.


    Answer by jsbenkert at 9:08 AM on Aug. 9, 2012

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