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"Think not that I come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household." -- Jesus, to his Disciples (Matthew 10:34)
Now that the Cold War is over -- now that Marxist rebels less often take to the hills, and the CIA presumably has quit abetting death squads -- what's the chief murder menace of our day?
Fanaticism. Current times may enter history books as a heyday of deadly zealots. Except in war zones, today's worst threat comes from a hodgepodge of True Believers who kill defenseless strangers to make political or religious statements.
Here's a zealotry scorecard for the past couple of years:
-- Muslim militants bombed New York's World Trade Center in 2003 to smite "the Great Satan," killing six people, injuring 1,000, and causing $500 million damage. (This was written before the second, historic, World Trade Center massacre in 2001.)
-- "Pro-life" fundamentalists assassinated workers at abortion clinics, twice in Florida and once in Massachusetts.
-- Nutty "militias" preached hatred for the American government -- and some fellow travelers are charged with blowing up the Oklahoma City federal building, killing 168, including tots in a day care center.
-- Fundamentalists who want to make Algeria an Islamic theocracy shoot teen-age girls in the face for not wearing veils, and cut professors' throats for teaching male and female students in the same classroom.
-- Japanese cultists loosed poison gas in Tokyo's subway, killing a dozen commuters and sickening 5,000 -- for reasons that defy comprehension.
-- Sikhs seeking to turn Punjab into a theocracy called Khalistan, "Land of the Pure," gun down Hindus at weddings and plant bombs in Indian movie theaters.
-- Islamic terrorists trying to make Egypt a theocracy rained gunfire on the bulletproof limousine of President Hosni Mubarak, but he escaped harm -- unlike former President Anwar Sadat, who was assassinated by such holy warriors.
-- Doomsday cultists holed up with David Koresh at Waco and burned themselves alive with their children.
-- Hindu mobs destroyed a Muslim mosque which they said defiled an Indian hilltop where Lord Rama was born 900,000 years ago -- triggering widespread Hindu-Muslim riots that killed 2,000.
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