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Can terrorism forge new counterterrorism alliances?

Here is an example of when terrorists create their worst nightmare, a society that rejects them outright. Reading a story this morning in the Washington Post by Pamela Constable titled, “Nigeria attack mends rift between religions,” that might be just about all that one can hope for from this disaster. The trouble with religion begins at the extremes, no matter what it is.

There is a Baptist Church on Lee Highway in Arlington, Virginia that has a sign out front that reads, “Let us fight for one nation under God”. The idea is based on Biblical scripture from the Old Testament.

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance."

Psalm 33:12

That’s fine if you are a religious person of Jewish or Christian faith who wants to believe that. But, in a nation that separates church from state, that creates an issue for non believers. Some people don’t care if they are blessed or not, but they subscribe with allegiance to the US Constitution and the American Political System that defends individual liberty, freedom, and equality. As for “fighting,” that is what nations and people must do to protect and defend their values, including government and religion, if they want to.

The news is about terrorists attacking and killing 118 people in Nigeria where half of the population are Christians and half are Muslims. The punch line is that people from both religions agree that terrorism is horrific and unacceptable. That is the basis for agreement.

Some people believe that the Quran is flawed at its foundation because it promotes mistreatment of women, and is too intolerant with prescriptive and outmoded forms of punishment and persecution. Some people believe that vast numbers of Muslims are peaceful people who are accommodating citizens of the world. They are sufficiently tolerant to coexist with others in the community. Other people don’t believe that.

Some people believe that there are extremists in the Jewish and Christian faith who can be as intolerant as extreme and radical Muslims.

It seems that when people from all faiths and without religious affiliation focus on getting along and collaborating to achieve safety and freedom for all, humanity has achieved the highest ideal that one could expect from religion and government by the people. People blowing up innocent people can never be accepted by human beings, and there are no institutions worthy of respect that advocate that sort of violence and fighting.

“Nigeria attack mends rift between religions

Parent Category: World
Category: International news
22 May 2014

Rescue workers and onlookers on Wednesday survey the aftermath of a bombing the day before that killed at least 118 people in Jos, Nigeria.

The terrorists who blew up a busy market in the central Nigerian city of Jos Tuesday, killing at least 118 people, may have been hoping that the attack would reignite a historic tinderbox of religious and tribal enmity that has been easily goaded to violence in the past.
Instead, the powerful twin car bombs, which left charred body parts strewn along two city blocks, seemed to have had the opposite effect on the horrified inhabitants of this rural state capital, at least for now.

While both Muslim and Christian residents here Wednesday acknowledged their history of mutual grudges and resentments, they expressed similar revulsion and anger at the bombing. Many instantly attributed it to the extreme Islamist group Boko Haram, which has staged other attacks in this region but has not claimed responsibility for Tuesday's blasts.

"To be honest, there is still some suspicion between Muslims and Christians here. We don't generally get together, but none of us believe in this insanity," said Michael Tyem, 22, a Christian working with a crew to pick up rubble. "We know these terrorists want to divide us and destroy our country. It cannot be allowed to happen."

Nigeria, roughly half Muslim and half Christian, is a country steeped in spirituality and crammed with religious symbols. Here in Plateau State, the two faiths have vied for power and influence for the past half-century, with each group seeing the other as interlopers. Muslim Hausa tribespeople from the north have competed with local Christian tribes and migrants from the south, who settled and prospered in the aluminum mining and agro-business fields.”

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