The March 26 commentary page made clear President Barack Obama’s good sense in declining to identify radical Islamists as a problem and instead focusing on terrorism and terrorists. E.J Dionne, quoting John Kasich, writes, “We are at war with radical Islam.”
In the adjacent column, Kathryn Jean Lopez, writing about the brutal murder of four Little Sisters of the Poor by Islamic State terrorists, describes the nuns as “blessed sisters who are living radically.” Surely Kasich misspoke and does not mean to suggest that we wish to destroy adherents of Islam who, in observing many of the altruistic tenants of that faith, adopt a standard of living and a care for others that the rest of us would consider extreme.
Neither does Lopez intend to imply by calling them “radical” that the Little Sisters intend to commit atrocities against humanity.
By focusing on the acts of people rather than on the intensity of their beliefs, mainstream or not, we can identify who it is that we need to be wary of, without stereo-typing, grouping and fearing them (or their religion) simply because we perceive them as different or even extreme.
Robert G. Rivard