A man displays a Confederate flag during a Ku Klux Klan rally on the grounds of the South Carolina Capitol in Columbia, South Carolina. (photo: Erik S. Lesser/European Pressphoto Agency)
Juan Cole | Informed Comment | Reader Supported News | November 27, 2015
mericans are more at risk from violence by armed white Christian fanatics than they ever were from Muslims.
Abortion clinics have been targeted for violence by fundamentalist Christians of a violent bent for decades. In 2009, Dr. George Tiller was relentlessly shot to death by Scott Roeder, who insisted that the good doctor was satanic because he performed abortions. Dr. John Britton was murdered in 1994 on similar grounds. A strain of Christianity in the United States has never accepted Roe v. Wade, which made it a woman’s right to have an abortion. Not accepting it for oneself is a matter of conscience, and there is nothing wrong with that. But not accepting it for other people is a form of coercion aimed at depriving them of a legal right.
Deploying violence against people to halt abortions is the textbook definition of terrorism, which in the 1990s the Federal Code sensibly defined as non-state actors using violence against civilians to achieve a political aim. Much violence and coercion at Planned Parenthood (only 3% of its activity has to do with abortion) is inspired by Christian fundamentalism.
On this point, Christian ultra-conservativism agrees with the point of view of the Malik school of law among Muslims. In essence, Christian terrorists are attempting to move the United States on the below map away from a modern European norm, where abortion is elective up to a certain point in pregnancy, to an Afro-Asian and Maliki Muslim norm where it is often forbidden except to save the mother’s life (or not even then).b