Mary Laney, Chicago Sun-Times
Let’s call them what they are and stop pussyfooting around. The terrorists who are kidnapping and bombing and hijacking around the world are Islamic bullies. They are a minority who have hijacked one of the world’s great religions and now besmirch the tenets of that noble faith.
They are ready to kill anyone they find who doesn’t believe in the same extreme doctrines they’ve had pumped into their heads. They call their enemies infidels who should die. To learn how to kill us, they’ve taken training at the same al-Qaida terror camps.
The Chechens who took over a grade school and killed innocent women and children are Islamic extremists, and it’s time we start calling them by their rightful name. They received their indoctrination in al-Qaida camps; they use the same cowardly tactics their brothers did when they hijacked airlines filled with innocent Americans and flew them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and that field in Pennsylvania.
These extremist Muslims have no respect for women, children or life itself. They are intent on killing as many people as possible to get their way. They’ve caused death and destruction for decades – most recently in a Moscow theater, on a train in Spain, on Russian passenger jets and in town squares. They’ve beheaded (and videotaped the beheadings) of reporters and workers. They’ve killed innocent laborers from around the world and bragged about it on tape. They’ve taken over mosques from which they’ve shot at soldiers in Iraq, hoping the soldiers would storm the holy places they’ve so defiled themselves….
But the taking over of a school in Beslan is the final straw for this reporter. Hooding their faces from identification while herding mothers, children and tiny infants into a school gymnasium – and then killing them while attempting to escape – is pure evil. This was their attempt to pressure Russia into releasing their fellow extremists from prison. It showed the world these cowardly bullies will stop at nothing to get what they want: the bending of the world to their warped beliefs.
When I was a child, we had a bully in our neighborhood. He would take our candy after we left the sweet shop. He would push us off our bikes for fun. He would chase us down streets to get the few coins we might have in our pockets. None of us told our parents about this bully, partly because we feared his revenge and partly because we feared our parents wouldn’t let us out of the house if they knew such a bully was in our neighborhood.
Because we didn’t name him to those who could have acted against him, he continued to bully us. We’d try to walk or ride our bikes together for safety; but there was always that inevitable time when we’d have to split up and go the last two or three blocks home alone. That’s when he would hit us.
His bullying went on nearly a full summer one year until he did something that united us all. He dug a three-foot-deep hole between second and third base on our sandlot baseball diamond. He covered the hole with an old T-shirt, some dirt and some leaves so that no one would see it before one of us hit a line drive and ran the bases. I still remember the high-pitched scream when my friend Paul’s left leg went into the hole while his right leg dug ahead at full pace. His leg was badly broken inside the hole the bully had dug. We knew it was the bully’s work. We also knew it was time to name him.
Paul went to the hospital to have his leg set in a cast. When he came come we all told our parents what had happened and what had been happening all summer. We showed the bully’s shirt to our parents and they took over from there. The bully’s days were over. It took a broken leg to unite us in our purpose to name the bully, go after him and stop him.
The massacre of innocents in this school gymnasium should be enough now to unite the world to name the bullies the world faces – Islamic bullies – and go after them. That’s what it’s going to take now. We know who the enemy is. We know they want to kill Americans and Spaniards and Turks and French and Filipinos and Italians and Israelis and anyone who isn’t a Muslim extremist. Now that we know who they are, it’s time for everyone to unite to stop them.