My personal experiences with Muslims have been positive. I remember with particular fondness one of my students at
This said, I find it disturbing that even a few individuals of any faith can become so obsessed with political or religious abstractions that they take actions which are intentionally devastating to fellow human beings.
When I was a student at
Since I was a Republican back then I figured out two different ways to shut down the telephone system. I am afraid that one of them, however, was not very practical. It involved hijacking an atomic submarine from the U.S. Navy, running it up the
The other approach, which I won’t disclose for fear someone might actually try it, would have been easy to do. But once I considered the side effects of shutting down the
Defensible ethical generalizations are hard to come by, but I think there are two such generalizations that apply both to my own case and to Mohamed Osman Mohamud:
First, in a fully civilized world children must be brought up to think concretely about all of the consequences their actions will produce and to evaluate their actions in terms of the Golden Rule (which has analogies in many religions).
Second, no religion can be all good that tolerates any of its members bringing up children to hate people of other races, nationalities, or religions. Islam is not alone in suffering from this imperfection; it has Christian brethren.
Members of an Islamic peace group were handing out leaflets protesting terrorism to the crowd awaiting the Christmas tree lighting in
Clearly, the world is not yet fully civilized. We should avoid reacting to situations like that in