Monday, August 22, 2005

Yes, we know, they're not ALL terrorists.

The Detroit Free Press has an almost regular feature, or at least it seems that way. There is always a different writer, but the writer always reminds us that not all Muslims are terrorists, or Islam and terror do not go together like love and marriage, or there are (the occasional) Jewish or Christian terrorist; you get the idea. Today's guest apologist is Victor Ghalib Begg, chair of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan. He informs us
. . . it should equally be common sense not to name suicide bombers, whether in London, Israel or in New York, Islamic terrorists -- these terrorists do not and must not be allowed to represent 1.3 billion faithful. Furthermore, Islamic leadership should not have to issue religious edicts denouncing such acts when an average Muslim has nothing to do with it.

Should we ask the pope to apologize for the IRA or have local Catholic communities come forward with statements denouncing IRA bombings in London? Do we constantly harass American fundamentalist Christian leadership to be sorry for the acts of Timothy McVeigh, David Koresh and Eric Rudolph?

An Israeli Jew recently attacked and killed four innocent Arabs in a bus. Should we then expect the Board of Rabbis to issue an apology in the name of Judaism and the Jewish populations? Should we have named this killer a Jewish terrorist? Religious killers come in every denomination, but unless they are Muslim, we routinely brush off such incidents as acts of a few crazies. Why then does it become mandatory for Islamic leaders to issue "fatwas" -- religious edicts -- confirming terrorism is not compatible with Islam?

It is wrong to back the Muslims in a corner and force them to plead not guilty for a crime neither they nor their faith is responsible for.

Sure, a few imams are guilty of inciting hatred but which religion has not produced a few zealots? The war on terror begins with the battle for the minds and hearts of the Muslim populations, so says our State Department. Demonizing the Islamic faith will not win the support of the faithful -- it will only be a strategic error.

Let us isolate the terrorists, but not dignify and sanctify their act in the holy name of a religion.

Let us not hold a fifth of humanity guilty for the crime of a small minority. It is against the American justice system and against international norms.
OK, Mr. Begg, I agree. Not all Muslims are terrorists. Muslims are murdering Jews in Israel, Christians in Lebanon and the Philipines, Hindus in Kashmir, Buddists in Thailand, other Muslims in all kinds of places, whoever gets in their way in Europe, and they are enslaving Christians in Sudan. But not ALL Muslims are doing it. Some are just supporting the efforts of the few, or trying to make us feel guilty for noticing that, like it or not, the vast majority of terrorists in the world are Muslim.

By the way, the Jewish terrorist mentioned in the article was condemned roundly by every Jewish organization on the planet. He was called a terrorist by the government of Israel. There was no obfuscation, no excuses, no request to examine "root causes", no blaming anyone else. Muslims could take a lesson. If they were serious about getting along with the rest of us on even terms.

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