Where ever we hear the word terrorist, certain images come to mind. We picture men that sport a lot of facial hair and olive color skin. We also make a link that has been suggested by the terrorists themselves.
The link that the terrorist are suggesting is simply a means to get more recruits. In reality that link is false. The suggestion is that people who are fighting terrorists are fighting the Muslims as a whole. That is simply something that has been repeated so much we have come to accept it.
The fact is terrorists come in all shapes sizes and colors. Many Americans will remember the attack in Oklahoma City that was master minded by Timothy McVeigh who was far from being a Muslim. The anthrax scare was also not Muslim related, although that was the first assumption made by many.
Although admittedly the vast majority of terrorists are Muslim, they act on their own but claim to be acting in the name of Muslims. It is this repeated suggestion that has tainted the worlds view of Muslims as a whole. The protective reflex many people feel when standing near someone who triggers the visual cues associated with terrorists, is part of this repeated suggestion. In fact the suggestion has been going on for so long and has been repeated by so many, it has taken on the strength of a hypnotic suggestion.
Terrorism is something you can see, smell and touch, however religions are just beliefs. The closest a person can come to touching a religion is holding a Bible or Koran in your hand. Even a church, mosque, temple, or synagogue are just symbols of a given religion, and not the religion itself.
It is this false believe that is being in stowed by terrorists and others who wish to link religion to this, and that link must be broken. Once that is done, the fuel that fires the ranks of terrorists will be removed, and terrorism will eventually fade to the reality that it is one or more people on a personal crusade for personal reasons, and not an entire religion seeking the same. The best way to do this is continue to repeat the message that cancels out what the terrorist have been saying. In short, fight fire with fire.