Philosophical discussions about people devoted to an ideology are seldom as effective in describing reality as is behavioral observation of those people.

When applied to devotees of Islam, philosophical discussions have seemingly created three categories into which Muslims can be placed — radical extremist, moderate and peaceful. Philosophically defining these categories can lead to quite a bit of discussion and disagreement, but behavioral observation provides more realistic insight to accurate definitions.

A radical extremist plans, directs, finances, supports and executes terrorist activities around the world, including against fellow Muslims.

Moderates are those who do not do any of the above but cheer, dance in the streets and otherwise praise the attacks of the radical extremists.

And peaceful are those who do none of the above but, through their silence and refusal to condemn the actions of the others, condone the attacks.

People worried about these attacks and wanting close observation of those who may choose to carry out the attacks are in danger of being classified as Islamaphobes.

Before so classifying someone, which, if any, of the above groups can be eliminated from the circle of concern?

I think we need to see a massive demonstration by the peaceful Muslims world wide publicly denouncing the terrorist actions and letting the non-Muslim world know that their religion does not teach or condone that type of behavior if that is true.

We should not have to guess, and we have a right to know who can be trusted, especially in our own country. Let the peaceful Muslims change their definition by changing their behavior.

Bo Bienvenu

retired

Prairieville