Extremists should be exposed by faith claims

The worst thing about religious extremists is they incite trouble while dodging accountability. They masterfully get others to place the blame elsewhere and people tend to obediently follow.

Ali Aujali, the Libyan Ambassador to the United States, said he was ashamed of militant Muslims who blamed the U.S. government, killed Americans citizens – beginning with U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three of his staff members – and encouraged violence and destruction that spread across northern Africa and the Middle East this past week. All after a California man produced an anti-Islamic video on the Internet.

As with past anti-American incidents, devoted mainstream Muslims were basically silent. However, this time some were seen on television reports holding signs proclaiming extremists should not be recognized as sharing their faith.

Now, we come to find that the so-called filmmaker, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, of Cerritos, Calif., aka Sam Bacile on a YouTube account – who like Muslim extremists evidently sought to spark global reaction – has a checkered past, including a bank fraud conviction and connections among militant right-wing Christians.

We who profess Christianity should along with mainstream Muslims should be equally ashamed of people that hijack religious banners and use them for selfish intentions.

If Nakoula’s purpose was to exercise free speech, he did so irresponsibly. If it was to start a fight, he completely misrepresented the examples of both Jesus Christ and Mohammad.

If it is proven that Nakoula’s actions that incited violence by residents of other nations toward the United States and its citizens were premeditated and intentional, then he is a criminal and must be held legally accountable.

There have always been militant extremists around the globe and there always will be. Many of them like to hide among otherwise respected religions.

We must admit militant religious extremists range in location from Kabul to Kansas. Many are sincere in their beliefs. They are also sincerely wrong in how they go about expressing convictions.

We fully believe in freedom of speech. That freedom carries with it the responsibility of civility. We believe in the freedom to practice one’s religious faith freely, but have yet to find anywhere among the world’s major religions where that condones intentionally harming others.

It is time for mainstream Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and all faiths that share common core values of human decency to make a united stand against extremists within their own numbers.

There will still be plenty of rogue religious extremists. They simply must be held accountable for their unholy actions.