First, our prayers should go out to those innocent people injured and killed today in Russia - for no other crime than looking to make another days wage, or learn a new lesson, or to buy food for dinner. It's a savage attack and a damnable event. A London Daily Mail article here has the best coverage I have seen thus far.
Early reports are linking the blasts to "Black Widow", a loosely-joined group associated to the Couscous region. The name "Black Widow" is derived because many members are reputed to be wives and sisters of men killed in defense of Chechnya against Russia. The Muslim women themselves are known as Shahidka - the feminine Arabic word for "martyr". The group also purportedly has ties with Al-Qaida, inasmuch as there is a strong Muslim presence in Couscous.
Ladies and gentlemen, I understand that anything spoken in the realm of religion is similar to walking a tightrope. It's often a lose-lose scenario. However, I have a strong conviction regarding happenings such as this and am compelled to make a couple observations - outcome be damned.
Islam claims to be a religion of peace. I personally have read a (translated) edition of the Qur'an, and generally found it no more militant in writing than the Old Testament. I perceive the differences really begin with the religious bodies who worship - or lead with - the Qur'an. And this is where things begin to get down and dirty.
For me personally, the subject of Branch Davidians (yes, THAT David Koresh) causes enormous stirrings within my community of faith. Davidians are hardly cultist - they are a small, peace-loving extension of Adventist religious principals. But Koresh was more Branch than Davidian, more cultist than theologian, and of course we know things turned out in Waco. But the point I am getting to is that Koresh's movement WAS NOT EMBRACED by the community he purported to represent. The Adentist Church, as well as Davidians world-wide, strongly denounced Koresh for what he was and who he was. Religious leaders took up the cause to separate the church from the evildoer. To protect those of Godly intentions from the work of ungodly. Ultimately it helped insulate the church from the criminal, although sadly did not make the outcome any better.
This is not happening in the worldwide Islamic community. People cheer the strength of "freedom fighters" over the "infidel dogs". They crow of the blessings the spilled blood of martyrs beings their people. Governments like Saudi Arabia and Iraq condemn Al-Quida out one side of their mouths, and kiss them with the other. Pretend to slap them, only to then feed, cloth and finance them quietly. All because to them, Al-Quida is righting the wrongs of Christians hundred of years ago.
Bullshit. They are terrorist scum killing hundreds and thousands of innocent people for nothing other than the quest for power and domination. It's more because Islamic clerics and governments desire a shadow army the world fears, without fear of reprisal against their mother churches and countries. But as Saudis have seen first hand, sometimes you get bitten by your own dog. And pissing off Russia isn't going to help your cause either.
There will come a point where the world body will start treating Islam as a terrorist group and not a religion. Acts such as this within the borders of Russia or China -for example - will hasten that process, because unlike the US and most Western countries, individual freedom is not forefront - the needs of the state are. Historically, this has the makings of something almost - dare I say it? - apocalyptic? It is not a stretch to see the beginning of military operations against targets not of a specific country, but rather a specific theology. We have this to some degree in the fight against Al-Quida, however if Islam does not take demonstrable steps to separate itself from its hate-filled, evil step-child the lines between them may blur until indistinguishable.
It's time for religious leaders within Islam to determine who and what Islam is. If they are truly a religion of peace, it is long past time for them to denounce militants and rein in support of them. If you really love your God, and your love your people then you should protect them from organized violence - which is the doings of none other than itself. If you do not want to prompt genocide - then speak up and follow through. Should Islam choose not to do so, I wonder how long it will be before the totality of Islam becomes the enemy.
Those are my thoughts, I'd like to hear yours.