Had another speaking engagement to explain what ISIS and their partners in terrorism are doing, some of the basics about Islam, and how Islamists and violent radical Islamists differ from the majority of Muslims around the world.
This group size was around 140 people and it spurred a number of interesting questions. It was clear from the questions before, during and after that the current dialogue in the news and on social media is not helping to explain the real problems facing America and the rest of the world. Although a few people came up to tell me I was carrying water for the Obama Administration and a few others needed to tell me that there is no such thing as a good Muslim I think this type of public discussion is useful.
A retired judge pulled me aside to tell me that I had given a fair explanation of the issues, stuck to simple facts and terms, and avoided making it a politically biased topic. That was the goal. Give out facts and challenge assumptions people have about Islam and terrorism.
I would urge others that have experience living in and studying the Broader Middle East to hold public discussions about these topics. Sharing ideas on social media is useful but having a real conversation in your community will have a greater effect. I will warn you that it will get uncomfortable and you will be pissing off more than one group on the political and religious spectrum so think about personal safety.
Both the last presidential administrations have avoided the straight talk necessary to educate America about Islam and its differences from and relationship to the worldwide violent radical Islamist movements that so many terrorists subscribe to.
Precise language is important if we are to ever unite the world in undermining the ideology that inspires so much death and destruction across the globe.
For a deeper discussion see my previous article.
Link to my previous article