The phrase “Trust but verify” comes to mind in response to the recent murders on Oregon’s Umpqua Community College campus, as well as the thought that “Oregon isn’t Kenya” — until now.
Former President Ronald Reagan made famous the phrase, “Trust but verify” in December 1987 after signing the INF Treaty with former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev. Gorbachev quipped to Reagan, who often quoted the phrase in Russian (“doveryai no proveryai”), “You repeat that at every meeting.” To which Reagan replied, “I like it.”
The phrase suggests that trust is lacking and conditional depending on whether or not what is to be trusted is proven to be trustworthy. In the context of singling out Christians to be killed, Islamists often first identify non-Muslims by their clothing. But also ask first if they are Christians or not before shooting them.
Earlier this year over the Easter holiday in Garissa Kenya, Al-Shabab gunmen targeted Christians, screaming “We have come to be kill and be killed.” They were citing a verse from the Qur’an from a chapter known to jihadists:
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