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Why can’t Islam get its act together? Because Islam isn’t a church. It’s a religion. Huge difference. So let’s rephrase it: Why can’t Muslims get their act together? Is that a more valid question?

By that token, why can’t Christians beat out pedophilia perceived as associated with one of its sects? Because it’s not about being Christian, and most Christians don’t see such people as being “Christian” or part of their own “tribe”. Some are embarrassed by this (and other things, and I know I am), but there’s no specific thing they can do about it, and I damn well won’t be told I should be held accountable by my perceived silence or inaction. Why?

Because Christianity isn’t a church. It’s a religion. Christianity isn’t one group of people all alike. Islam is as big and diverse as Christianity, too broad to accurately even call an ethnicity. It would be like saying white people need to stomp out human trafficking and could do so if they all stood up against it.

It just doesn’t work that way. There’s no such thing as “kicking out” radicals out of Islam any more than kicking alcoholics out of “people who play golf”.

If it were possible, and didn’t go against my value of free speech and pluralism, I’d like to kick out fanatics and extremists in OUR society, all flavors. Having said that, defeating such radicalism is a noble cause.

How about looking at the roots of fanaticism, the conditions socially and psychologically and really work to minimize it’s existence and impact on us all? Because it’s not an easy target. It takes intelligent consideration and doesn’t fit on a bumper sticker. And most challenging of all, it takes introspection to see the roots of fanaticism in human nature, which includes ourselves.

When we look for sources of evil in scripture or ideology, we will only find the flavors of the groups theoretically coherent religion, ethnicity, or political party. Any of these can be tools used for good or for ill. They are excuses proffered by fanatics and pointed at by bigots.

Fear and hate can be shrouded within any idea; any idea can be weaponized. The solution is to uncover and reject this lie and thereby disarm the radical construct that justifies evils done in its name. Don’t accept it within your own “group” or to judge others by it. It’s all our responsibility, regardless of whose purported beliefs are used to harm themselves and others.

So what is the solution for Islam? There is none. But there is a solution for humanity: Address fanaticism, not belief. Otherwise, we are accepting, if not straying down the path of fanaticism ourselves.

{Addendum: An excellent article on this can be found HERE.}