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The terrorist mentality is rooted in hatred, not despair

11:30 AM EST, February 18, 2013

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Reporter Mary Carole McCauley quotes writer Adam Lankford as saying terrorist attacks are motivated not by politics or religion but by despair ("Inside the mind of a suicide bomber," Feb. 10). I am sick and tired of hearing this misleading despair excuse for murderous suicide bombers.

The 9/11 suicide bombers responsible for the incineration of the World Trade Center and the deaths of thousands of innocent Americans were not poor, uneducated and despairing individuals. They were from affluent neighborhoods and well-to-do families. They were university graduates in engineering and medicine. And they were motivated by a perverted religious ideology in which they had been indoctrinated since childhood that advocates the killing of Jews, Christians and other non-Muslims.

The Fort Hood Army major who massacred his colleagues was also by an American-born Muslim man who came from a well-to-do family and who had a doctor's degree. He shouted "Allah Akbar" after murdering 13 people and injuring many others. This was not a simple "workplace violence" incident, it was the trademark of a violent jihadist.

Sure, there have been other misguided individuals with mental problems who sought attention by doing something outrageous and destructive, and it is sad such people need help. But brainwashing innocent Arab youngsters by teaching them to hate and kill those perceived as "infidels" is a form of child abuse not only in the Middle East but in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas as well.

Parents who allow their children to join these death cults must take the responsibility for their murderous actions. The mullahs justify such callous murders as a religious duty to restore a Muslim "caliphate." When are American leaders call it what it really is: Criminal, prejudicial and genocidal.

I just don't buy into this "pity party" psychiatrist jargon. God gives us a choice between good and evil. Why do the social workers and psychiatrists always make excuses for those who choose evil?

There are lots of people who are born into poverty and live under conditions of deprivation yet never become terrorists. They use their talents and energy to work hard, save their money and make a life for themselves.

It is politics and the misuse of religion that promote the violent terrorist mentality and hate crimes we see today.

Barbara Bloom, Owings Mills

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