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Muslim, Catholic, Protestant: terrorists are all the same



Published: Fri, January 18, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



In issuing death threats against Catholic postal workers and schoolteachers in Northern Ireland, the black-hooded thugs of the Ulster Defense Association have shown themselves to be nothing more than the evil twins of terrorist groups like Al-Qaida and Islamic Jihad. They declare war on helpless civilians in the pretense of advancing a political cause.

In fact, they are nothing more than criminals..

They seek power not peace.

They choose death not diplomacy.

They prefer killing to compromise.

The UDA shams that it is a "loyalist" organization fighting to maintain ties with Britain, just as the Catholic paramilitary Irish Republican Army has ostensible allegiance to Ireland.

But the U.S. State Department knows them as an "extremist terrorist group" that has carried out numerous pipe bombing and arson attacks against civilian targets such as homes, churches, and private businesses to cause outrage among Catholics and to provoke IRA retaliation.

In the latest outrage, members of UDA killed a 20-year-old Catholic postal worker -- the father of a 13-month-old daughter -- last Saturday. They had declared that all Catholic postal workers were considered & quot;legitimate targets." Earlier, they had made a similar threat against teachers and workers at Catholic schools.

Those are real men for you: battling the brigades of the defenseless. Some defense organization.

Terrifying children: Last year, the Red Hand Defenders, as the UDA killers have named themselves, were responsible for terrorizing little girls on their way to their Catholic school. Again this year, the school was the site of intensive rioting by the so-called loyalists and their counterpart nationalists.

While both British and Irish authorities have assailed the violence, they seem unable to stop the factions from battling against each other and killing the innocent. But as Americans have learned, denouncing terrorism is not the same as ending it.

And also as we have learned, while moderate Muslims advance the notion that theirs is a religion of peace, few Muslim clerics are willing to take a stand against the terrorists who claim to be battling under Islam's banner. So too, there is a prodigious lack of outrage from Protestant and Catholic clergy about the allegedly Christian combatants in Northern Ireland's unholy "religious" war.

Those who do not condemn terrorism condone it.




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