Why do they kill in the name of religion?

Friday, September 21st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

President Bush touched on the deep hatred that drove the attack on America. So it's important to answer the question. "Why would anyone harbor such hatred?"

News on Six reporter Tami Marler says in America, most children grow up with a foundation of love. So they can't possibly grasp this concept of killing in the name of religion. In America, we're free to do just about anything, drink alcohol when we choose, and say whatever comes to our heads. "He's a kook, acting on his own reasons, and he's claiming a religious fight. And he doesn't have it." TU student, Andy Shanks says Osama Bin Laden doesn't have what it takes to take on the US. What he has, is thousands of followers with a common cause. "I'm an American. Uh, I don't understand why he hates us so much." Another TU student, Melodi Carpenter, "You know, I know they do have different beliefs that's not only a part of their culture but their religion too, and just to have so much hatred in a religion, mixed together. You know, I don't understand that, so."

Professor Paul Finkelman of the University of Tulsa says it's difficult for the Western mind to grasp. "They're opposed to economic progress, they're opposed to free markets, they're opposed to freedom of religion, freedom of speech, rights for women, tolerance for ethnic and religious minorities." "I can go to church whenever I want to, I can read the Bible whenever I want to. Dress how I want to, you know." "They want the entire world to believe as they believe and think, as they believe. Since we are the center of freedom in the world, we are naturally their enemy." Finkelman says it's also a matter of economics. Extremists like Bin Laden prey on poor Muslims. "Poverty breeds hopelessness. Poverty breeds people who are willing to die because they have nothing to live for."

And they die martyrs, taking out thousands of innocent people they've learned to hate since childhood. In their holy war, to die in that way is an honor. Shanks says, "If he wants us to whoop him, he could've just sent a letter, and we'd have done it. I mean, it's as easy as that.” Our nation was formed on the notions of freedom and liberty. It's what we celebrate as a nation. And it's exactly why we find ourselves in a Holy War.