iamtheshoe muse

... sometimes shoe thinks about stuff ...

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Youíve undoubtedly heard about Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, the 22-year-old Iranian-born UNC student that ran down a bunch of fellow students to avenge mistreatment of fellow Muslims. You may have also heard the Ali Asghar Soltanieh, the chief Iranian delegate to the IAEA, say, reading from a statement in reply to possible UN Security Counsel actions, "But the United States is also susceptible to harm and pain. So if that is the path that the U.S. wishes to choose, let the ball roll."

I pray that Taheri-azarís attack isnít a continuation of some movement to attack Americans here at home. Everyone has seen examples of what a few motivated extremists can do. Apparently, due to some technical legal lingo, what Taheri-azar did canít be classified as terrorism because it was one person acting alone. Additionally, there isnít any evidence to suggest he did it with a goal of creating terror, rather it was an act of vengeance. But I have to say that it scares the hell out of me that this guy planned the attack for two months, and had considered some act of vengeance for two years. He also claimed he did it to pay back the US Government for killing his people around the world. That statement make what he did sound like terrorism because, although he didnít come out and say it, if his actions changed US foreign policy it would have the same affect that terrorist organizations attempt to achieve.

A group or groups of people have organized most attacks that Iíve read about here in the states. Taheri-azar claims that he acted alone. Surely there are others in this country that feel as he does, and his attack could embolden others that feel as he does. As I mentioned, Iranís threats to the US could further embolden others to take action. Thatís scary because when individuals are planning these sort of attacks there probably wonít be any communications to monitor, meetings to observe, or any other traces of some illegal activity. Additionally, if these type of attacks are treated as criminal cases, the information probably wonít be readily shared with Federal organizations that might be able to do some analysis on the activities. Also, the media has barely touched the Taheri-azar story, so this potential threat to peopleís safety wonít be well publicized.

I understand that there are millions of peace loving Muslims in the world, including Iranians. But there is a radical element out there that scares me. I donít know how to deal with that fear. Itís different than the fear of walking down a dark street in a bad part of town. Itís different than the fear of confronting someone that did something wrong. Itís different than the fear of investigating that strange sound you hear downstairs. For me itís worse. Itís the fear of being suspect of something, when every sense tells you your right to be scared, and ignoring it for fear of ďprofilingĒ someone. Itís the fear of extremism, something we havenít truly experienced since WWII. Itís the fear of indecision. Itís the fear of being called Islamophobic. I donít want to be an Islamophobe. I fight the feeling everyday. And then I read news stories about Taheri-azar and the Iranian governmentís threats to the US. I hear about attacks against civilians by homicide bombers. I have the memories of 9/11 and all the other attacks by extremists. What am I supposed to think? What am I supposed to do when Iím walking down the street with my kids? It keeps me up at night sometimesÖ What Taheri-azar didÖthatís terrorism if you ask me.


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