December 7, 2014

Christian Terrorism in Kansas City

English: Picture taken from the Liberty Memori...
Picture taken from the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, MO. High Resolution. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Imagine that a Muslim man living in the United States with a long history of making threats against Christians living in his community climbs into his SUV one day and runs over a 15 year-old Christian boy outside of a local church. The boy dies of his injuries, and the Muslim is arrested and charged with first-degree murder. This means that the prosecutor believes a case can be made that our Muslim intentionally killed this boy (i.e., aimed his vehicle at the boy and hit the gas with the intent of ending his life). What are we to make of this Muslim? With his history of threats culminating what appears to be premeditated murder, might we consider him a terrorist?

Something very similar to what I have described above happened this week in Kansas City, Missouri. A couple important differences should be highlighted though: the driver of the SUV was a Christian, and the 15 year-old victim was a Muslim. Does this change anything? It seems to me that if we were inclined to consider the alleged offender a terrorist when we thought he was Muslim, finding out that he was Christian should not change that. Some have characterized this as an act of Christian terrorism.

According to The Kansas City Star, the alleged offender, 34 year-old Somali-born Ahmed H. Aden, "was known to have made frequent and violent threats against Muslims and the mosque, occasionally even threatening the mass slaughter of worshipers." It sounds like Aden was known to police and many members of the Somali community, having been reported multiple times for making what sound like serious threats against Muslims.

Assuming these allegations are true, Aden certainly sounds like a Christian extremist. But his violence would take him well beyond the extremist label. Does the Christian terrorist label apply here as well? I think it might. And sadly, this is not the first time Kansas City has had to confront Christian terrorism.

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