Extremists: They Don’t Hate Us Because We Are Free

ParisNovember 13th, 2015, multiple explosions and shots rang out in the Paris night. Over 120 people lost their lives and over 300 were injured.

Today the world is in mourning. Condolences have rolled into France from around the world by foreign leaders, including the Iranian President who described the attack as a “crime against humanity.”

Sadly, atrocious attacks such as these are nothing new. We have seen them over and over again. It started in New York on September 11th. This event shook the foundation of the free world. But it was not the last. These violent attacks also occurred in London, Ottawa and Madrid.

Why do these things happen? You and I are constantly told it’s because we are free. President George W. Bush said America was attacked because “They hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.”

Is it really believable that the Islamic Extremists hate us because we are free? Has any group of people throughout the history of the world ever hated another because they were free?

On the first anniversary of the September 11th attacks the Dalai Lama stated

“Conflicts do not arise out of the blue. They occur as a result of causes and conditions, many of which are within the antagonists’ control. This is where leadership is important. Terrorism cannot be overcome by the use of force because it does not address the underlying problems. In fact the use of force may not only fail to solve the problems, it may exacerbate them, and frequently leaves destruction and suffering in its wake.” – Dalai Lama

America, instead of addressing the underlying problems, elected to follow a different course. They elected to use force in response to 9/11. America, along with her allies started the War on Terror. Which in turn lead to the destabilization of the entire Middle Eastern region, which in turn lead to the rise of ISIS/ISIL.

The War on Terror has failed us. The cost will never be justified by the results. Over 6000 US soldiers have died in this endless battle. The financial burden on the citizens of the nations fighting the war is over $1.7 trillion.

Out of the 170,000 people that have been killed during the war in Iraq, 110,000 of them have been civilians. Yet still you and I are told the Islamic Extremists hate us because we are free.

We are told we must continue our battle against them if we are to remain free. Yet every time we drop a bomb we kill more civilians than terrorists. How can we expect to win a war against people with such different ideologies if our every move encourages them to hate us more?

It’s time we elect a different course. We need bring our troops home and end the needless bloodshed. We need to turn our efforts away from destruction and towards humanitarian efforts and reconciliation.

Only then can there be peace.

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Shayne Thiessen

Shayne Thiessen

Shayne is enrolled in Business Information Technologies at Red River College in Winnipeg Manitoba. He has a passion for politics, photography and technology. Born and raised in a small farming community, Shayne believes in small government and personal liberty.

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Shayne, I agree with most of this article. But how do we turn to humanitarian efforts and reconciliation?