In wake of Paris attacks, don’t blame many for the actions of a few

As high school press, we do not have the access nor the ability to report on live world events as they unfold. Rather, it is our job to voice the opinion of our peers. It is our duty to give you the perspective of fellow high schoolers. With that said, we give you this editorial not as a hard news article, but as a way to express our feelings towards world news. It is not our place to report on the tactical pursuits, politics, or medical condition of those involved as we cannot provide, with our current resources, accurate reporting practices.

It is in the time of deepest confusion that we tend to rely on hatred. Finding the scapegoat is the oldest practice of human nature. We find someone to blame, and we blame them to the best of our ability. It is in this time, as the world weeps together, that we must learn to accept each other. It is in this time, more than any other, that we must look past stereotypes. Not all Christians are members of the Ku Klux Klan. Not all Muslims are members of ISIS. Current estimates from the CIA max out ISIS membership numbers at around 31,500 people. At the KKK’s height in the 1920’s, membership was estimated to be in the 4 million range. Neither of these extremist groups provide an accurate representation of their religions.

Adolf Hitler was a Christian and a terrorist. Most Christians condemned Hitler. Just as he does not represent the Christian faith, ISIS does not represent the Muslim faith. The Buddhist Brigade is a anti- Muslim movement led by monks that directly violates a central point of their religion, being non-violent. The Buddhist Brigade does not represent the Buddhist religion. As we move on in the crisis that is presented to us by terrorism, it is important to keep in mind the inaccuracy of stereotypes. Muslim people are not the problem. Christian people are not the problem. Buddhist people are not the problem. Religion is not the problem.

Religion provides order to a chaotic world. It gives a sense of belonging. It gives meaning to disorder, fear, life, and death. It gives a reason to push on. The main goal of all religions falls back on this common theme: order. Terrorists, on the other hand, have the sole desire of creating disorder, a world where nobody feels safe. It makes little sense that these two worlds would collide, but maybe that is the point. It is not the religion that makes these individuals violent. There are people in this world that are mean, deceitful, and cruel. Religion is not the reason for violent people. People are violent in spite of religion.

We must learn to be careful of judgement. Being Muslim does not tag you as a violent person. Being Christian or Buddhist does not tag you as a peaceful person. We must learn to see people for who they are, not for who they are represented by. Remember as you move forward in life that love is the most powerful possession we own. We have to trust mankind. We must emphasize its best qualities and work to recognize them in ourselves. As Gandhi wisely stated, “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”