Understanding Islam – Part 24 (The Shoe Bomber)

A few days ago I received an email as a reminder – it wrote about the Shoe Bomber.  Using body parts to disguise a bomb a ‘Terrorist” tried to blow-up an airplane.  The logic behind such a devastating and tragic incident is unfathomable, and defies logic and reason.  It reflects on the psychie of Islamic led terrorists?  First I ask – where do the Muslims that direct such actions get these people?  And what kind of brainwashing, temptations, or other inducements would compel any human to do such a thing – even in the name of Allah.  Is this how Allah is god; or is it how men who take from a man-dream-inspired document, the Quran, a literal interpretation without regard for human suffering?  Our Congress recently enacted Hate Crime legislation.  Under that terminology any Muslim, clearly those whose interpretation of the Quran is literal and most strict, in their jihad, Holy War, is waging a hate-crime against all non-believers.  Any one that is not Muslim is hated.  How can anything get more out of hand or more extreme?  Why wouldn’t people look with concern at Muslims – how do we distinguish an extremist from a non-extremist?  Why are there no Countries that have simply precluded Muslims, knowing as most of us do today, evidenced by their actions, that Muslims hate non-believers.  Certainly they hate anything to do with freedom.  There war is against anything secular as well. 

Now we have the Underwear Bomber too.  Who knows what article of clothing, sex or individual the extremists will use next.  Why doesn’t Osama himself demonstrate his willingness to die, but do so without taking the life of innocents.  Innocents can be collateral damage in war (That is a very sad fact.) – we are waging a war against Terrorists.    But what war are Terrorists fighting?  Who is their enemy – but – those they hate – non-believers, people who are free.   Unfortunately all Muslims are being brought into the picture the Terrorists are painting.  And the moderate Muslims, they too are apostates of Islam, at least according to the more literal – the Wahhabi’s, the Salafis, and the Osamans.  The moderate may as well defect from Islam and find a religion more tolerant of their nature.  There may be reasonable people among the Muslim flock, but given what the world is seeing, they are behaving poorly in the eyes of those who would take their lives, their fellow Muslims,  those teaching, practicing, killing and imposing the more demonic aspects of this ideology on their minions.  What a terrible state of events.

So –  “Remember the guy who got on a plane with a bomb built into his shoe and tried to light it?” – This is the question the email asked.  The answer follows.

  Did you know his trial is over?
  Did you know he was sentenced?
  Did you see/hear any of the judge’s comments on TV or Radio?

Everyone should hear what the judge had to say.

Ruling by Judge William Young, US District CourtPrior to sentencing, the Judge asked the defendant if he had anything to say.  His response: After admitting his guilt to the court for the record, Reid also admitted his ‘allegiance to Osama bin Laden, to Islam, and to the religion of Allah,’ defiantly stating, ‘I think I will not apologize for my actions,’ and told the court ‘I am at war with your country.’

Judge Young then delivered the statement quoted below:

January 30, 2003, United States vs. Reid.

Judge Young:   ‘Mr. Richard C. Reid, hearken now to the sentence the Court imposes upon you.  On counts 1, 5 and 6 the Court sentences you to life in prison in the custody of the United States Attorney General.  On counts 2, 3, 4 and 7, the Court sentences you to 20 years in prison on each count, the sentence on each count to run consecutively.  (That’s 80 years.)  On count 8 the Court sentences you to the mandatory 30 years again, to be served consecutively to the 80 years just imposed.  The Court imposes upon you for each of the eight counts a fine of $250,000 that’s an aggregate fine of $2 million.  The Court accepts the government’s recommendation with respect to restitution and orders restitution in the amount of $298.17 to Andre Bousquet and $5,784 to American Airlines.  The Court imposes upon you an $800 special assessment. The Court imposes upon you five years supervised release simply because the law requires it. But the life sentences are real life sentences so I need go no further.  This is the sentence that is provided for by our statutes.  It is a fair and just sentence.  It is a righteous sentence.

Now, let me explain this to you.  (This is what everyone in American and any person in the free world should know, and certainly agree on)  We are not afraid of you or any of your terrorist co-conspirators, Mr.. Reid.  We are Americans.  We have been through the fire before.  There is too much war talk here and I say that to everyone with the utmost respect.  Here in this court, we deal with individuals as individuals and care for individuals as individuals.  As human beings, we reach out for justice.  You are not an enemy combatant.  You are a terrorist. You are not a soldier in any war.  You are a terrorist.  To give you that reference, to call you a soldier, gives you far too much stature. Whether the officers of government do it or your attorney does it, or if you think you are a soldier, you are not —– you are a terrorist.  And we do not negotiate with terrorists.  We do not meet with terrorists.  We do not sign documents with terrorists.  We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice. So war talk is way out of line in this court.  You are a big fellow But you are not that big.  You’re no warrior.  I’ve known warriors. You are a terrorist.  A species of criminal that is guilty of multiple attempted murders.  In a very real sense, State Trooper Santiago had it right when you first were taken off that plane and into custody and you wondered where the press and the TV crews were, and he said: ‘You’re no big deal.’  You are no big deal. What your able counsel and what the equally able United States attorneys have grappled with and what I have as honestly as I know how tried to grapple with, is why you did something so horrific.  What was it that led you here to this courtroom today?  I have listened respectfully to what you have to say. And I ask you to search your heart and ask yourself what sort of unfathomable hate led you to do what you are guilty and admit you are guilty of doing?  And, I have an answer for you.  It may not satisfy you, but as I search this entire record, it comes as close to understanding as I know.  It seems to me you hate the one thing that to us is most precious. You hate our freedom.  Our individual freedom.  Our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not believe as we individually choose.  Here, in this society, the very wind carries freedom.  It carries it everywhere from sea to shining sea.  It is because we prize individual freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful courtroom, so that everyone can see, truly see, that justice is administered fairly, individually, and discretely.  It is for freedom’s sake that your lawyers are striving so vigorously on your behalf, have filed appeals, will go on in their representation of you before other judges.
Mr. Custody Officer.  Stand him down.

We Americans are all about freedom.  Because we all know that the way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties.  Make no mistake though.  It is yet true that we will bear any burden; pay any price, to Preserve our freedoms.  Look around this courtroom  Mark it well.  The world is not going to long remember what you or I say here.  The day after tomorrow, it will be forgotten, but this, however, will long endure.   Here in this courtroom and courtrooms all across America , the American people will gather to see that justice, individual justice, justice, not war, individual justice is in fact being done.  The very President of the United States through his officers will have to come into courtrooms and lay out evidence on which specific matters can be judged and juries of citizens will gather to sit and judge that evidence democratically, to mold and shape and refine our sense of justice.  See that flag, Mr. Reid?  That’s the flag of the United States of America .  That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag Stands for freedom.  And it always will.

So, how much of this Judge’s comments did we hear on our TV sets?  We need more judges like Judge Young.  Everyone should and needs to hear what this fine judge had to say. Powerful words that strike home.

I thank my friend MH for sending me this email.

The terrorists are terrorists.  They have no country.  They have no objective except that of destruction.  If they are living to have multiple wives, to treat women poorly, to be men as the Quran defines men of more that equal stature with woman, if they are against progress and freedom, then they need someone to teach them where they are wrong.  Ideally such a teacher would arise from their midst.  There are many moderate Muslims; there are many Muslims that have never seen the inside of a mosque; there are Muslims that see cultural shifts that, except for the unchangeable nature of the Quran and the dictates that insist it remain in an Arabic language most cannot read, should be included in a ‘revised’, modernized, version of  a New Koran.  This world has developed, prospered and grown to accommodate all peoples, all races and all cultures; why destroy it for something as restrictive and diabolic as fundamentalist Islamic thinking. 

May the eyes of the Muslim world be opened to cultural evolution and enable their book to adapt, as the Bible adapts to changes.  The Bible is current with today’s culture, and was current with the culture of the Old Testament and the New Testament.  It is timeless.  The Quran’s time has lapsed and recovering the past will just not happen.  There is a future for everyone.  Find your place it.  This is my prayer.  Thanks be to God.

Grace and peace,

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