News From Terre Haute, Indiana


April 23, 2013

RONN MOTT: You, me, and the Muslim world

I don’t know how to do this. I’m a fairly intelligent human being, but the events of the past week in Boston have turned me emotionally inside out. It’s more than the people who died, it’s more than the people who were injured … some permanently, forever. It’s more than the extreme frustration of this clash of religion and culture in the world and the way we should govern.  

In Iran, the elective legislative body’s decisions can be overturned by the Supreme Ayatollah because he represents the Muslim faith. In America, and most western nations, the most prominent faith has little, if anything, to do with the running of the government. Laws are passed and enforced and we don’t run to a cardinal, a bishop, a minister, or a rabbi to receive approval. In Australia, if my figures are correct, the Roman Catholic Church represents 70 percent of the population. Israel has a religious party and they often make up some of the legislative body’s activities, but it does not rule the country. You still have to get elected.

This religion left to us by the Prophet Mohammed plays an intensive part in all Muslim life. You pray every day, you listen to religious leaders, and you go to war in the name of your faith. The man next to you may be from Yemen while you are from Morocco and because of your beliefs in your faith you are brothers. Many of the young people who are Muslim have gone off to kill themselves while killing many others … with a promise of life in paradise.

Therein lies the rub. For hurts, real or imagined, the part of the world with the most young men, therefore, finds it easy to recruit for jihad. If you are in a jihad, it’s kill for your faith or be killed. These young men, mainly from the Middle East, are mostly unschooled, except in the study of the Koran, and since they have very little else to do, they’re easily persuaded to go into this holy war.

It appears now that the eldest of the two brothers involved in the Boston Marathon bombings was persuaded into going into this holy war.

There is no solid belief in the secular life, there certainly is no belief in a secular government, and if you are outside the Muslim faith you are an infidel, which means the respect a jihadist would have for you is equal to a dying dog in an alley.

You cannot negotiate with people who consider you something like an alley dog. It is going to take the moderate Muslim people of the world to bring this constant killing to a halt. The question begs … what if they can’t bring it to a halt? Then, we are at a terrible position … kill them (the radical jihadists) or die ourselves.

These two young men were not terribly religious, even in the Muslim faith. But the elder one was reconnected with the radicals in his home country and apparently became just like the ones in the Middle East we’ve had to contend with. As I have gotten older, I find it harder to say, “Kill, or be killed,” to anyone.

The jihadists hate the western world, it’s somewhat frivolous lifestyle, its take-it-or-leave-it attitude toward any religion, and its love for the idea in principle of one man, one vote. My God, what a mess!

Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.

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