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Assuming responsibility

Photo of candles and a "Je Suis Charlie" banner arrange as a memorial

Assuming responsibility

From the Guardian: After press magnate Rupert Murdoch tweeted his opinion that all Muslims should feel themselves responsible for the attacks on Charlie Hebdo, J.K Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, responded.

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Rowling went on to say,

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Although neither is American, their exchange may illustrate divisions in western opinion reported by the Public Religion Research Institute over what constitutes religious violence, and what motivates extremists and terrorism. In the wake of the Paris attacks, the Institute has re-published a graphic from 2011 research which illustrates the difference in motivations attributed to those committing atrocities in the name of Christianity and of Islam.

The article accompanying the graphic suggests that

Americans have a double standard when evaluating violence committed by self-identified Christians and Muslims. More than 8-in-10 (83 percent) Americans say that self-proclaimed Christians who commit acts of violence in the name of Christianity are not really Christians. In contrast, less than half (48 percent) of Americans say that self-proclaimed Muslims who commit acts of violence in the name of Islam are not really Muslims.

The original research can be found here.


Posted by Rosalind Hughes


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Marshall Scott

Part of the sadness for me in this is that in fact Muslim scholars and other leaders do speak out, both within and beyond the Unites States, often at some risk to themselves. It just doesn’t get the media attention. Perhaps, as is often alleged, “it doesn’t fit the narrative” [“all Muslims are terrorists”]. Perhaps it just doesn’t fit the low journalistic standard of “if it bleeds, it leads.” The voices are out there, and too few of us hear.

In my youth my favorite Irish bar was lost in explosion and fire. It turned out that it was a collection and transfer point for funds, and perhaps for other items, being funneled by Noraid to those “good Catholics” in the Provisional Wing (that is, paramilitary) of the Irish Republican Army. They were, of course, countered by those (just as militant and paramilitary) “good Protestants” in Northern Ireland. As Christians we have our own history of those who claim to be part of us and who kill in that name. We have our own beam to attend to, even as some want to check out another’s eyes.

Peter Snow

No, Rupert Murdock is wrong, but he is used to that I am sure.
However, the Islamic terrorist problem is an Islamic issue. We, the rest of the world cannot solve it, we have no way to dialogue or negotiate. Drone attacks and police actions are all we have to respond with officially.
Muslim people have to stand up and speak out. That will take courage because they will be targeted. So what is new? Mohammed began his work in response to the blood feuding of his people. He introduced the idea that all who followed him were brothers and therefore family, and blood feuding was no longer applicable. This enabled extensive peace to develop in a vast region and gave opportunity for the advances in architecture, mathematics, poetry and other studies that represented the golden age of Islamic culture. Now the world needs from those who have inherited the leadership of Islam to take Mohammed’s call for brotherhood and re-frame it for the world. We belong together, we are our brother’s and sister’s keeper with 6 billion of us in the world. What a wonderful opportunity for the Islamic community to lead the way towards that sense of total community responsibility. What I would like to say to Islamic leadership is, “So stand up and speak out. We cannot do it for you, but we will support, protect and stand with you.”

Ann Fontaine

Jon Stewart had a discussion about this idea that one group is responsible for all in that group:

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