(Preface: What do the atrocities of Islamic terrorism, slavery, genocide and abortion have in common? They all define the “other” as less than being human. This mind set justifies the promotion and perpetuation of these evils.)
As we know the overwhelming number of Muslims are not terrorists, (thank God), but virtually all terrorists are Muslims. Why is that? Based on the tenets of their Holy Book many Muslims take a world view which divides the world between the world of Islam (the true believers) and the world of the infidels, or the non-believers.
Based on this perspective, the Islamic terrorists justify themselves into thinking that since the infidels are in effect something less than being fully human, it becomes a moral imperative and responsibility for them to enslave or kill the infidels unless they convert to the world of Islam.
This way of thinking, in that the “other” is a lower form of humanity is not something new in history. In the Book of Genesis chapter 9, there is an account of Noah cursing one of his three sons, named Ham (Canaan) and proclaiming that he will be a servant of his two brothers. This Biblical account by some is called “the curse of Ham” and this Biblical interpretation was used to justify the slave industry. The slave traders and owners rationalized that since the descendants of Ham are black and cursed they are not really fully human and therefore, they can be enslaved.
In our history this line of thinking was used by the Supreme Court when they issued their ruling in the 1857 Dred Scott decision which addressed the question: “can a negro whose ancestors were imported into this country and sold as slaves become a member of the political community formed and brought into existence by the Constitution of the United States, and as such become entitled to all the rights, and privileges”, . . . “specified in the Constitution?”
Another quote from the court decision reads, “They (slaves) had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race either in social or political relations, and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect, and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit. He was bought and sold, and treated as an ordinary article of merchandise and traffic whenever a profit could be made by it. This opinion was at that time fixed and universal in the civilized portion of the white race.” Such was the language used by the Supreme Court in 1857.
In effect the court decided that the U.S. Constitution defined blacks as a “subordinate and inferior class of being.” (This Dred Scott decision may have been one of the contributing and significant causes of the Civil War.)
Adolf Hitler was instrumental in establishing The Nuremberg Race Laws of 1935 which deprived German Jews of their rights of citizenship and in effect giving them the status of “subjects” in Hitler’s Reich. After the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, a dozen supplemental Nazi decrees were issued that eventually outlawed the Jews completely, depriving them of their rights as human beings. These laws eventually led to the Holocaust which resulted in the physical annihilation of millions of human beings.
The Supreme Court case of Roe vs. Wade made a right of abortion legal for nine months of pregnancy. This outcome is based in case law which was decided on January 22, 1973, as a result of a class action challenge against the constitutionality of a Texas law which restricted the use of abortion.
Quoting an excerpt from the majority opinion written by Justice Blackmun, we read, “Texas (law) urges that, apart from the Fourteenth Amendment, life begins at conception and is present throughout pregnancy, and that, therefore, the State has a compelling interest in protecting that life from and after conception. We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.” (Note that the Justice believes there is a problem with knowing when human life begins, while the Texas law contends that life begins at conception.) The Justice then rules that the Texas law, Art 1195, is unconstitutional and concludes “that the Texas abortion statutes, as a unit, must fall.” (See the case law site: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/410/113.html
Perhaps there may have been some difficulty or question in 1973 of determining when human life begins and as a result the unborn may have been considered something less than human.
However there is a scientific study of when life begins. Maureen Condic, Ph. D. created a scientific white paper which concludes,” that human life begins at sperm-egg fusion is uncontested, objective, based on the universally accepted scientific method of distinguishing different cell types from each other and on ample scientific evidence (thousands of independent, peer-reviewed publications). Moreover, it is entirely independent of any specific ethical, moral, political, or religious view of human life or of human embryos. Indeed, this definition does not directly address the central ethical question surrounding the embryo: What value ought society place on human life at the earliest stages of development? A neutral examination of the evidence merely establishes the onset of a new human life at a scientifically well-defined “moment of conception,” a conclusion that unequivocally indicates that human embryos from the one-cell stage forward are indeed living individuals of the human species; i.e., human beings.” (See: https://lozierinstitute.org/a-scientific-view-of-when-life-begins/) Dr. Condic is Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Utah School of Medicine. She is also Director of Human Embryology instruction for the Medical School and of Human Neuroanatomy for the Dental School.
It then becomes obvious that the atrocities of Islamic terrorism, slavery, genocide and abortion all define the “other” as less than being human and as a result this mind set justifies the promotion and perpetuation of these evils.
We must underscore the dignity of all human life, born and unborn and develop an abiding respect for all of humanity if our planet is to survive.