By Joe Darby/Opinion
The 21st century, so looked forward to at the end of 1999, is turning out to be quite a dangerous neighborhood. We anticipated this century with hope because, after all, the 20th century had been no picnic, no walk in the park. It simply brought us two horrible world wars, the Holocaust, other costly and debilitating wars, the Great Depression, the fear of nuclear war, racial segregation and prejudice. The list could go on, but that last sentence was depressing enough.
Then, late in that century, the Soviet Union fell, Eastern Europe was liberated and it seemed there were no more really bad guys for us to worry about. One noted university professor, who should have known better, even proclaimed the “end of history,” that is the end of major confrontations among nations.
Then, militant Islam reared its ugly head, perpetrating 9-11 and numerous, if smaller, terrorist attacks on the Western world since then. I grieved at the attacks on Paris and Brussels a few months back. I have a lot of French dna in me and I feel a close tie to that nation. I’ve been to Paris and I love it.
Anyway, we all should have known that a similar attack on that scale was only waiting to occur on our own shores. And so a radicalized, hateful, mixed up young follower of Allah walks into a gay nightclub in Orlando, murders 49 American citizens (as of this writing) and wounded another 50 or so.
The usual and expected political reaction has followed. Democrats are calling for gun control. Donald Trump is doubling down on his call to repress Muslims. Moderate, thinking Americans are mourning the dead and praying for the survivors and their families.
Me? I’m saddened, angry and disgusted by this continuing behavior of some Muslims. I’m also embarrassed by the thinking — if it can be called that — of Donald Trump. This all just reinforces what I wrote about a few weeks ago, of the horrible choice the United States of America faces in its presidential candidates, Trump and Hilary Clinton.
Having said that, I and many others are waiting for Muslim leaders nationwide to forcefully speak out against this type of senseless violence. Their silence is deafening. I like to think of myself as a tolerant man, a man who can see the viewpoint of others. But I utterly fail to understand how someone can invoke a religion to justify the murder of innocents. To yell, “God is great” while mowing down men, women and sometimes children is way beyond my comprehension.
And there’s no end to this in sight. So, getting back to my original thought of the 2000s being a bad neighborhood, I fear we haven’t even gotten to the meanest streets yet. What’s going to happen when these killers get ready access to chemical and biological weapons, not to mention a nuke?
I don’t know what the answer to this situation is. And neither does Barack Obama, Donald Trump or Hilary Clinton. Probably no one does. But it sure couldn’t hurt if the peaceful Muslims start to speak out and let everyone know that they too are sad and disgusted and condemn their fellow religionists who take such joy in slaying innocents.
Otherwise, the 21st century ain’t going to be a nice place in which to live at all.