One of my predictions below has already manifested and in full bloom. Fear is in. Suddenly we need extreme measures to protect our self from destruction. There are enemies everywhere. Especially the Muslims. A goodly number of people in this country are firmly convinced that Muslims are the manifestation of evil on the earth. That their book teaches them that it's ok to kill in the name of Islam. That their goal is to destroy our culture by imposing Sharia law etc. That they want to kill us all and the only option is to destroy them first. On the other side there are a notable number of people that think Americans are the manifestation of evil on earth. That Americas goal is to impose their will and destroy their culture. They see our religion as capitalism and imperialism and think its infecting the entire planet so to wipe it out is the only option. So basically all you need is to put a turban on the Americans or a baseball cap on the Muslims and they become everything they hate. They are both fighting the same thing in their own context. Many in this country insist that if Muslims aren't evil where are the moderates speaking out? They are, but if it isn't on the news you watch you won't know. Looking from both sides, if there are radicals preaching death and destruction in this country shouldn't people here also be speaking out? I don't think that it makes one weak or a poor American to push back on radicalism.
Are there things to fear? Certainly. As I said, there are a goodly number of Muslims that believe the above. The question is how to fight it. We are the big dog on the block so if we don't take the first step others will have no options. The first thing we need to do is realize that Islam is not our enemy. Most Muslims are not bent on destroying our way of life anymore than the idea that most Americans are bent on imperialism. There are many steps we can take to protect ourselves but responding to terror with fear is a losing plan.
The second thing to consider is the primary motivator of violence in the middle east. It's a Shia/Sunni battle. Do you know the difference in the two? Do you know around what percentage represent each group or what countries are one or the other? If we are facing a problem wouldn't it be good to understand it? Once you understand it do you think we as Christians are going to solve it? Would we be open to a solution to Christian problems between Protestants and Catholics by Muslims?
Thirdly, it's time to get a real understanding of the fear. While we have had attacks the terrorists would have to go some to keep up with what we face everyday in this country. We kill well over 10 thousand of each other every year, year after year, it's pretty much a guarantee. We seem to only be terrified of 'the other'.
So what is the answer? What do we need to do? I think once we get the big picture of what is going on that is a topic worthy of discussion. Without the big picture though you are spinning your wheels. The only thing I am full convinced of at this point is that a knee jerk reaction isn't going to cut it.
Finally, while it is rather lengthy(45 min), I strongly, strongly encourage you to take some time somewhere to watch the video above. It is a room full of actual Muslims talking about their faith. Getting it from the source is a good way to get realistic understanding.