Column – Don’t be quick to panic, blame others

February 25, 2011 — Leave a comment

Published in The Daily Toreador.

We’ve been pretty busy at The Daily Toreador trying to cover the story of Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, the Lubbock resident and former Tech student who has been charged with plans to create and use an improvised explosive device (IED).

As some people have been saying on my Facebook and Twitter feeds, it’s crazy to think the Hub City had its own terrorist.

Obviously, at this stage in the investigation, there’s a lot we don’t know, and there’s probably more that we’ll never know at all. But there’s one thing that, sadly, seems to need saying every time an incident like this crops up.

Don’t jump to the conclusion that, just because Aldawsari was Islamic, all Muslims are evil. Just because he was of Saudi Arabian descent does not mean all Middle Eastern people are out to bomb you.

After all, Aladdin was Arabic, and he kicked a lot of ass for the good guys.

To be fair, I haven’t personally seen a lot of hate from Tech students, at least not yet. I’m hoping that’s a good sign.

But that hasn’t been the case everywhere else. Occasional reader comments from sites such as CNN.com and even LubbockOnline.com betray an intense fear of those who don’t share their religion, nationality or skin color.

But that’s really no surprise, of course. Such people show up all over the place. What’s more surprising is when people who should know better jump onto that bandwagon.

MSN.com’s main headline for this story, at the time of this writing, states, “After 9/11, U.S. gave more visas to Saudi students.”

And? What’s your point, MSN? If there are more Saudi students here on visas (the story says more than 10,000 were granted in 2008) than before, yet we only have this one case of terrorism, isn’t that a pretty low student-to-murderer ratio?

As it stands now, it appears that Aldawsari was a lone wolf, with no ties to organizations like al-Qaida. Based on reports we have on his blog activity, he wanted to start his own organization and be its leader.

Truth be told, young, crazy people of all religions (atheism included) and ethnicities could have fallen into the same delusions.

Aldawsari may have been Middle Eastern. He may have been a Muslim. He may have wanted to do some terrible things in the name of Allah. But we could just as easily be here talking about a group of Christians who decided to bomb an abortion clinic on Christmas day as a birthday gift to Jesus.

Extremism is not indicative of what a religion believes or teaches. Things are taken out of context far too easily, even by those who mean well.

We don’t need to waste our time blaming the Koran or George W. Bush or President Obama. We should just be thankful that, this time, disaster was avoided and lives were saved. That’s the main thing that matters right now.

Britton Peele

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Freelance video game critic for sites like GameSpot and GamesRadar. Amateur fantasy author.

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