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Lincoln Institute


Sticks and Stones

by Frank Ryan
 

Few people would consider denigrating any religion or person to be a reasonable, mature, and decent way to behave.

Yet when riots and killings are allegedly sparked by "hate crimes", the insanity of the reaction is equally unpalatable to those in the civilized world.

The reactions to these riots though by our governmental leaders are equally stupefying! To even remotely condone riots and killings as a reasonable reaction to verbal insults is inconceivable. The despicable killings and violence should have been condemned. Our nation appears weak when we react in any other way.

The underlying principle used by these politicians to condone condemning only the one broadcasting the insult is that if someone perceives themselves as a victim it is acceptable to react in any way that you wish, civilized or not. With such a principle of victimization, the entire concept of vigilante justice takes on an entirely new meaning.

Legislation on hate crimes was designed to protect the victim, not justify violent reactions to the crime. For the President to placate an uncivilized action in the name of securing tranquility is precisely the type of appeasement that propelled the world into World War II. The President does not understand the Middle East at all and his response showed it.

Hate crime laws in the United States are dealt with by the FBI. The FBI's own website on hate crimes states: "Crimes of hatred and prejudice–from lynchings to cross burnings to vandalism of synagogues–are a sad fact of American history, but the term "hate crime" did not enter the nation's vocabulary until the 1980s, when emerging hate groups like the Skinheads launched a wave of bias-related crime. The FBI began investigating what we now call hate crimes as far back as World War I, when the Ku Klux Klan first attracted our attention. Today, we remain dedicated to working with state and local partners to prevent these crimes and to bring to justice those who commit them."

Recently, criminal elements attacked Buddhists in Bangladesh over a Facebook photo of a burnt Koran. Homes of innocent Buddhists were ransacked, looted, and then set ablaze. The person who tagged the photo is in protective custody.
The arrest of those who sparked the riots and reactions to the photo though has not yet taken place. The rioters' actions have been characterized by many in the Administration as sad reactions to verbal attacks against Islam rather than equally uncivilized conduct by rioters against the innocent in the Buddhist village.

Just as in the case of the killing of our US ambassador in September 2012, the perception by many is that this Administration feels that the demonstrators were some how justified in their irresponsible and illegal conduct. It just was not their fault. The rioters were sad victims.

The crimes against these Muslim religious were verbal in nature and not physical. I understand that abuse and hatred can come from words, pictures, as well as a fist. But when and where is the line drawn in which those reacting to the verbal offenses are accountable for their actions. It makes no sense at all that any government would attempt to justify the acts of these Muslim terrorists out of fear of what else they may do. It makes no sense at all.

In an almost surreal move the Organization of Islamic Cooperation made a plea at the United Nations asking for a ban on insulting the Prophet Muhammed. I understand completely that insulting another person's faith or another person for that matter is unacceptable conduct. The plea by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation however would have been significantly more palatable if the organization decried the violent reaction of some of the members of their faith.
My faith, the Christian faith as a Catholic, was insulted by artwork funded by the United States government, by offenses verbally when I visited Qatar when I had a Bible in my luggage as a United States Marine Colonel, and the entire Conscience Clause violations of the Affordable Care Act. But apparently abusing Christians is acceptable to this administration.

In the Jewish and Christian faiths as well as many others we are taught by our rabbis, priests, and ministers to pray for those who hate us.

The world would have felt significantly more accommodating to the Islamic Faith should the Organization of Islamic Cooperation have condemned the violence of their followers as well as he irresponsible acts which allegedly triggered the violence.

Violence in the name of religion is a crime! Violence against religion is a crime as well. Unfortunately the U. S. government considers hate crimes only when it placates a special interest group of their choosing. That policy of appeasement is a recipe for disaster.

Col. Frank Ryan, CPA, USMCR (Ret) and served in Iraq and briefly in Afghanistan and specializes in corporate restructuring and lectures on ethics for the state CPA societies. He has served on numerous boards of publicly traded and non-profit organizations. He can be reached at FRYAN1951@aol.com and twitter at @fryan1951.


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