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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Sort of Copycat Crime?

Yesterday, just a day after abortion provider George Tiller was gunned down at church, Private William Long, a 23 year old military recruiter in Little Rock, Arkansas, was shot to death. Private Quinton Ezeagwula, age 18, was wounded.

May William Long rest in peace, and Ezeagwula recuperate.

A suspect was taken into custody and charged with the shootings: Abdulhakim Muhammad, a 23 year old African American man who converted to the violent distorting strain within Islam--that does not at all speak for Muslims who know that "Islam" means "peace." Muhammad pleaded not guilty and said he killed the soldiers to retaliate for the killings of Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Is it a mere coincidence that this happened right after the killing of Tiller? Or did it give the perpetrator the boost and sense of endorsement he needed to actually commit a deed he had been heading towards for a while already?

Like Scott Roeder, who has been charged with Tiller's killing, Muhammad was already been on the radar of law enforcement. So, once again, how exactly did someone with a known violent, terrorist ideology, under the scrutiny of legal authorities, get his hands on a gun and bullets?

I too am heartsick over the thousands of Iraqis and Afghanis who have died so unnecessarily in these wars. I am heartsick over the young African American men from my neighborhood who join the military because they feel it's their only or their best choice...and maybe Muhammad is someone who hit the very same skids that afflict a lot of young Black men as they are confronted with the harsh societal realities that shut them out of meaningful opportunities and brand them as violent criminals...

But as A.J. Muste insisted: "There is no way to peace. Peace is the way." Attacking military recruiters is no answer to the problems of war and racism, and attacking abortion providers is no answer to abortion and women's dearth of choices, either.

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