[Homestead] Boiler plate comments on Muslim terrorism

Tvoivozhd tvoivozd at infionline.net
Thu Sep 9 14:18:37 EDT 2004

Meaningless coming from Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tantawi and other Mid East 
governments.  The few individual critics are already forgotten, probably 
like their forerunners, marked for assassination.


The Boston Globe <http://www.boston.com/news/globe/>

  Where is the Muslim outrage?

By Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist  |  September 9, 2004

THEY ARE still burying the victims of the latest atrocity committed, 
some believe, in the name of Islam -- the slaughter of hundreds of 
children, teachers, and parents in an elementary school in Beslan, 
Russia. And from Muslims the world over, as usual, has come mostly silence.

There have been no public demonstrations by Muslims anxious to make it 
clear how outraged they are that anyone could commit such unspeakable 
deeds for their version of Islam. There has been no anguished outcry by 
Islam's leading imams and sheiks. Prominent Muslim organizations in the 
West have not called press conferences to express their disgust. Once 
again the world has witnessed a savage episode of Islamist terror, and 
once again it strains to hear a convincing rejection of the terrorists 
from those who should care most about Islam's reputation.

That is not to say there has been no criticism at all. Crown Prince 
Abdullah of Saudi Arabia telephoned Russian President Vladimir Putin to 
assure him that "this terrorist act . . . goes against religious 
teachings and violates human and moral values." Syria's official news 
agency decried the massacre as "a terrorist, cowardly action." Sheik 
Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi of Al-Azhar University in Cairo lambasted the 
murderers for "taking Islam as cover" and said that "those who carry out 
the kidnappings are criminals, not Muslims."

But these are boilerplate denunciations, practically meaningless -- 
particularly when they come from sources that sustain Islamist 
fanaticism (Saudi Arabia), shelter and support terrorists (Syria), or 
defend suicide bombers as praiseworthy "martyrs" (Tantawi). They condemn 
no terrorists or terror organizations by name. They offer no help in 
destroying the infrastructure that recruits, funds, and trains them. And 
they contain no hint that the global scourge of Islamofascist jihad is a 
cancer eating away at the Muslim world.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, which issues dozens of press 
releases every month, had nothing to say about the bloodbath in Russia 
until I requested a comment. The statement CAIR then issued doesn't even 
acknowledge that the killers were Muslim:

"No words can describe the horror and grief generated by the deaths of 
so many innocent people at the hands of those who dishonor the cause 
they espouse. We offer sincere condolences to the families of the 
victims and call for a swift resolution to the conflict in that troubled 
region." At least CAIR went through the motions of condemning the 
butchery. Other voices preached a different message altogether.

Ali Abdullah, an Islamic scholar in Bahrain, announced that the 
bloodshed in Beslan "is the work of the Israelis who want to tarnish the 
image of Muslims." In London, Islamist cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed told 
the Daily Telegraph: "If an Iraqi Muslim carried out an attack like that 
in Britain, it would be justified because Britain has carried out acts 
of terrorism in Iraq."

Fortunately, a few Muslim commentators /have /denounced the evil being 
done in the name of Islam, and have done so courageously and 
unambiguously. (The Middle East Media Research Institute has compiled 
their reactions at www.memri.org.) One in particular stands out: an 
extraordinary column in the pan-Arabic daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat by Abdel 
Rahman al-Rashed, the manager of the Al-Arabiya news channel.

"It is a certain fact that not all Muslims are terrorists," he begins, 
"but it is equally certain, and exceptionally painful, that almost all 
terrorists are Muslims.

"The hostage-takers of the children in Beslan were Muslims. The 
hostage-takers and murderers of the Nepalese chefs and workers in Iraq 
were also Muslims. . . . The majority of those who manned the suicide 
bombings against buses, vehicles, schools, houses, and buildings all 
over the world were Muslim. . . . Does all this tell us anything about 
ourselves, our societies, and our culture?. . .

"We cannot tolerate in our midst those who abduct journalists, murder 
civilians, explode buses; we cannot accept them as related to us. . . . 
They are the people who have smeared Islam and stained its image. We 
cannot clear our names unless we own up to the shameful fact that 
terrorism has become an Islamic enterprise; an almost exclusive monopoly 
implemented by Muslim men and women." When it is no longer astonishing 
to encounter such sentiments in the Muslim world, we will know that the 
corner has been turned in the war against Islamist terror. Jeff Jacoby's 
e-mail address is jacoby at globe.com. 

© Copyright <http://www.boston.com/help/bostoncom_info/copyright> 2004 
The New York Times Company

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