A man was arrested for his alleged involvement in the New York Trade Center bombing. By name, he appeared to be a Muslim, by ethnicity an Arab and by nationality a former citizen of Israel. Guess what happened. A section of the media immediately launched its campaign against Islam and Muslims by using terms such as Islamic extremism, Muslim extremist or Muslim fundamentalist.
Almost at the same time, David Koresh, self-claimed Jesus Christ, got involved in the killing of four federal agents, and nobody called him a Christian terrorist or Christian bandit. Since April, 1991, Serbians have been killing Muslim Bosnians in the name of ethnic cleansing, yet nobody calls them Christian murderers. The Irish Republic Army exploded several bombs against Protestants in Britain last week, yet no one called it Catholic terrorism.
Attributing an individual act of violence to a group is not only bad politics but also bad grammar and bad journalism.
Pakistan Link is published weekly in Los Angeles.