So the secret is finally out. We finally know the name of the “Executioner”. That is good. I suppose it is the first step in finding and stopping this guy—and he does need to be stopped. However, all this fuss about his identity got me thinking.

Why is it that all these ISIS guys always have their face covered? They claim to be doing God’s work. Why do they need to wear a mask? Bank robbers wear a mask. Muggers wear a mask. Criminals wear masks. Men of God do not. Clearly these guys are in this for the power. If they can pull this thing off they will have absolute power over millions of people.

How can we stop these guys? Certainly, the military option has a lot of support and some merit I suppose. It might even be necessary. But the thing that keeps rattling around in my head is “Where is this great army coming from?” I mean, a state with a government can draft people. These people are all volunteers. That’s what I get stuck on.

I live in Minnesota where, I have heard, the largest population of Somalians in the United States lives. Even way out here in rural Minnesota there are quite a few. I don’t really care. We were all immigrants once upon a time. There is one thing that does bug me though.

Apparently quite a few young Somalis are going to the Middle East to join in this “crusade” against the West. My question is this: What have I done to these people that makes them want to kill me? They came here to escape bloodshed and anarchy back home. We took them in, like so many groups before. However, in one generation they decide they hate us so much they want to kill us. What does that say about them? What does that say about us?

I know a lot of people who don’t like Somalis on general principle. They can come up with all kinds of reasons to justify their judgmental thoughts about the Somalis. Maybe they just don’t feel welcome.

Then there is this other thing. Somali culture is very family centered and what most of us would call very conservative. They are so conservative, in fact, that often when one of their kids pulls the kind of shenanigans that most American kids do they dis-own them—cut them off from the all-important family. Perhaps that lonely kid is fertile ground for the seeds of hatred ISIS is sowing.

So what can we do about any of this? When faced with a problem like this I generally like to ask myself how I may have contributed to the problem. I can’t say for sure. What I can say is that I will continue live in the present moment as much as I can—taking away that fear of the future that is ISIS’s main weapon. I will continue to cultivate compassion and release any judgmental thoughts that pop into my mind. And I hope I will respond wisely as needed if a “situation” arises.

What will you do?

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