Guest Column: The problem of terrorism exists and must be solved

Published 10:00 am Tuesday, June 14, 2016

My Point of View by Brian Hensley

Brian Hensley is chairman of the Freeborn County Republican Party and local financial adviser with Intego Financial Group. He also serves on the City of Albert Lea Parks and Recreation Board. All opinions are his and do not necessarily reflect those of the organizations he is associated with.

Another massacre. This time the massacre occurred in Orlando, Florida. Facts are still coming forward, as well as the stories from those inside the nightclub.

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America is at a crossroads.  We have an enemy that hates us. They hate us for our beliefs. They hate us for traditions. They hate us for the opportunity that is available to all, regardless of where someone starts their lives, regardless of sex, regardless of religion.

Brian Hensley

Brian Hensley

These acts of terrorism, whether by radicalized Muslims born in this country or born in a foreign country, are going to continue. The terrorist will use rifles, knives, suicide vests, pressure cooker bombs, automobiles, box cutters or airplanes. The terrorist will use brochures, pamphlets, internet websites, internet chatrooms, disposable phones, radio waves and television waves. They will attack us at schools, malls, nightclubs, churches, subways, army bases and airports. They will attack us in Ohio, Florida, New York, Massachusetts and someday Minnesota. They will attack us in America, Belgium, France, Indonesia and Spain.

We don’t know where, we don’t know when and we don’t know how.

ISIS is a hateful, intolerant group. They target Christians, Muslims and Jews. If you don’t agree with their mindset, you are their target.

Over the next weeks, probably until the next attack, we will begin to hear how we are the problem. We created this problem. Blame will be placed at the feet of those that have too much. Blame will be placed because we haven’t incorporated, into our communities, all immigrants with open arms. Blame will be placed because we haven’t provided opportunities for those different from us.  Blame will be placed because we disrupted the Middle East by protecting Kuwait and the citizens of Iraq from Saddam Hussein.

If you remember nothing else about this column remember this. Terrorism is created by people who hate. We didn’t create that hate. Something they learned taught them to hate, often their misunderstanding of the teaching of their religion was taken advantage of, and turned for evil.

How do we solve the problem of Islamic terrorism? It will be the problem that defines the 21st century. The solution is not isolationism. There will be difficult chooses.

How do we balance protecting the masses and protecting the rights and privacy of individuals?

How do we balance the need for immigration and welcoming new citizens to America, with the need to welcome immigrants to America for opportunities to better their lives, not take lives or destroy our country?

How do we balance safety when gathering in groups at public areas, with the need to protect everyone that is gathered?

The problem exists, and the problem must be solved. Until we can agree on what the problem is, the answers will lie outside of our reach. The problem isn’t guns. The problem isn’t Islam. The problem isn’t something we have created.

The problem is terrorism is created by those who hate the American values of liberty and freedom and our way of life and are choosing violence as their answer.