The fundamentalist seeks to bring down a great deal more than buildings. Such people are against, to offer just a brief list, freedom of speech, a multi-party political system, universal adult suffrage, accountable government, Jews, homosexuals, women's rights, pluralism, secularism, short skirts, dancing, beardlessness, evolution theory, sex. There are tyrants, not Muslims.United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said that we should now define ourselves not only by what we are for but by what we are against. I would reverse that proposition, because in the present instance what we are against is a no brainer. Suicidist assassins ram wide-bodied aircraft into the World Trade Center and Pentagon and kill thousands of people: um, I am against that. But what are we for? What will we risk our lives to defend? Can we unanimously concur that all the items in the preceding list -- yes, even the short skirts and the dancing -- are worth dying for?The fundamentalist believes that we believe in nothing. In his world-view, he has his absolute certainties, while we are sunk in sybaritic indulgences. To prove him wrong, we must first know that he is wrong. We must agree on what matters: kissing in public places, bacon sandwiches, disagreement, cutting-edge fashion, literature, generosity, water, a more equitable distribution of the world's resources, movies, music, freedom of thought, beauty, love. These will be our weapons. Not by making war but by the unafraid way we choose to live shall we defeat them.How to defeat terrorism? Don't be terrorized. Don't let fear rule your life. Even if you are scared.
Salman Rushdie
Take a little thought experiment. Imagine all the rampage school shooters in Littleton, Colorado; Pearl, Mississippi; Paducah, Kentucky; Springfield, Oregon; and Jonesboro, Arkansas; now imagine they were black girls from poor families who lived instead in Chicago, New Haven, Newark, Philadelphia, or Providence. Can you picture the national debate, the headlines, the hand-wringing? There is no doubt we’d be having a national debate about inner-city poor black girls. The entire focus would be on race, class and gender. The media would doubtless invent a new term for their behavior, as with wilding two decades ago. We’d hear about the culture of poverty, about how living in the city breeds crime and violence. We’d hear some pundits proclaim some putative natural tendency among blacks toward violence. Someone would likely even blame feminism for causing girls to become violent in a vain imitation of boys. Yet the obvious fact that virtually all the rampage school shooters were middle-class white boys barely broke a ripple in the torrent of public discussion. This uniformity cut across all other differences among the shooters: some came from intact families, others from single-parent homes; some boys had acted violently in the past and others were quiet and unassuming; some boys also expressed rage at their parents (two killed their parents the same morning) and others seemed to live in happy families.
Michael S. Kimmel
Opening the freezer, Easy smiled. God bless the Rixeys’ ice-cream addiction. There were so many containers, it seemed entirely plausible that they’d robbed an ice-cream delivery truck. He sorted through the tubs until he found a container of chocolate. Bingo. Next, he grabbed the milk from the fridge. And then he opened a bunch of cabinets until he found a blender at the back of one of them. The layer of dust on its surfaces told of how long it had gone unused. He rinsed and wiped it off, then brought the detachable pitcher to the other counter, where the ice cream lay waiting. Shane’s expression was two seconds away from amused. Not a word, McCallan. He held up his hands and shook his head, but he couldn’t hold back the smile. Fucker. Scoop, scoop, scoop, milk. Lid on, Easy placed the container on the blender and hit mix. Two minutes later, he had something approximating a very thick milk shake. He spooned it into a glass, then gathered the bagel and soup. Next he built his sandwich, sneaking pieces of beef and cheese as he worked. Damn, that looks good, Shane said, pushing off the stool and grabbing a plate for himself. Think I’ll make some food for me and Sara, too. Easy suddenly felt less self-conscious with Shane making food for his woman, too. Whoa. He froze with a piece of rye bread in his hand. Jenna was not his woman. But maybe she could be. Slapping the bread on top of the lettuce, Easy’s thoughts spun—he came up with lots of reasons why it probably wasn’t a good idea, but that didn’t make him want it any less. Mid-sandwich-making, Shane spoke in low, even tones. We don’t have to do that thing where I tell you to handle Jenna with care if you’re thinking of starting something with her, do we? For. Fuck. Sake. Not that Easy was particularly surprised by the question. Hadn’t he been half expecting it? And, his brain noted with interest, it wasn’t a warning off. Nope. I didn’t think so, Shane said in that same casual, even tone. I see how protective you are of her, Easy and I’m glad for that. I know you’ll treat her right, so I’m not saying a thing about it, except handle with care. Nodding, Easy concentrated on making the floor stand still under his feet. I like her, Shane, he finally said, echoing the conversation he and Shane had had a few nights ago about Shane’s growing feelings for Sara. And, well, hi, how ya doin’, Mr. Hypocrite, Easy had told Shane he had to come clean with the team. Despite the fact that Easy hadn’t done so himself. Still. Yeah, Shane said, clapping him on the back of the neck and squeezing. I know. Wow.From the thin cabinet next to the oven Easy retrieved a baking sheet to use as a tray. Improvisation he could do. He loaded it down with everything he thought they’d need, lifted it into his arms and then he was all about getting back to Jenna.
Laura Kaye