By Bryan Deeken
The funny thing about terrorism is that it has nothing to do with religion, culture, or ethnicity. An act of terrorism is simply the act of using violence to pursuit political goals. The Irish Republican Army, or IRA, is a terror group that operates in Ireland. The group was formed to fight for Irish independence. The IRA terror group led to a lot of discrimination against plenty of innocent Irish Catholics in the United Kingdom.
There was a group in an English colony in the late 1760s, early 1770s that tarred and feathered British Soldiers in retaliation to laws they believed to be unjust. Yes, our Founding Fathers are terrorists in every sense of the word. Heck, we had groups like Weather Underground in the late 1960s and early 1970s bombing government buildings in retaliation to the war in Vietnam. Terror groups do generally include specific people with a similar mindset. Other groups with specific people and similar mindsets include, but are not limited to, knitting club, chess club, crochet club, and yoga class. My point is simple, we cannot allow the similarities of a group we don’t like to be extrapolated to a whole societies religion, culture, or ethnicity.
Last Friday’s attack was not Islam attacking the Western Culture. No ISIS attack, no IRA attack, no Sons of Liberty attack, and no Weather Underground attack has ever been about Muslims, Catholics, Americans, or Leftist-Hippies attacking Western Culture. It is about a select group of people within those broader groups deciding that the amazing, and beautiful cultures and societies we have built are threatening their own outdated belief systems. Last Friday’s attack was about disallowing Malala Yousafzai’s wonderful message of empowering young women to persist. The attack was about continuing the culture of fear that drove a brilliant young man, Ahmed Mohamed, away from my beloved country, where he should be welcomed with more than opened arms. And, yes, last Friday’s attack was an attack on basketball.
Sport brings everyone from all creeds, races, and cultures together. Sport is a way our societies congeal and mingle into a loving family that should be the human race in 2015. I studied philosophy in college. I cannot go into work in downtown Cleveland and ask my fellow elevator riders how they felt about Plato’s analogy of the cave. What I can do is say “How about them Cavs.” After a quick recap of a LeBron dunk, or a Tristan Thompson rebound, I can confidently say that there is now a unity with that fellow elevator rider that there wouldn’t have been had our culture not had sports. Let us not succumb to Islamophobic tendencies. The person sitting across from you on the RTA is a Cavs fan. I know that for sure. Ask them what they thought about Mo Williams performance in the game the other night. Don’t keep to yourself. Creating unity amongst ourselves as the human race is what we can do to commemorate those who passed away in Friday’s attacks, the attacks in Beirut a few days earlier, the many attacks in Nairobi, and the list of many other terror attacks. Ask someone about the basketball game.