The Juan Williams incident and the rhetoric of Bill O’Reilly that caused Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar to walkoff the set of The View, fan the flames of an unbroken theme in history where no other “belief” has arguably been as unifying yet divisive, peaceful yet violent as religion.

Although the proposed Mosque at Ground Zero is widening the gap of intolerance between some Christians and Muslims, the tragedy of 9-11 (which involved extremist Muslims) is no more a window into Islam than the Atlantic Slave Trade (which involved extremist Christians) is a window into Christianity.  Extremists have historically slain innumerable others in the name of all 3 major faiths of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

And just as there are doctrinal distinctions among the world’s estimated 1.9 billion Christians such as Mormons, Anglicans, Catholics and Coptics of Ethiopia in East Africa, there are likewise distinctions among the world’s estimated 1.6 billion Muslims such as Sunnis, Shias, Ahmadiyyas and Murids of Senegal in West Africa.  So it’s either dimwitted or deliberate agitation for someone like O’Reilly, who is Harvard-educated, to wholesale indict and generalize that “Muslims killed Americans on 9-11.”

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