August 06, 2004

Believe It or Not


The The Wall Street Journal has a book review by Eric Ormsby of What's Right with Islam by Frisal Abdul Rauf. (Via HB List.) Ormsby writes:

[I]t isn't enough to defend Islam or attempt to explain aberrations away. He [Rauf] and other Muslim leaders have an obligation to speak out forcefully against betrayals of their own traditions. Throughout the Muslim world, fatwas are issued every day on all conceivable subjects; where are the fatwas condemning such barbaric crimes as the beheading of hostages or suicide-bombing?

The review says the book's author is the "spiritual leader, or imam, of a mosque just blocks from Ground Zero." Another New York state imam was in the news yesterday: Two men arrested in missile sting operation.

The imam and the founder of an Albany, New York, mosque are being held after an FBI sting operation in which the suspects tried to help an undercover agent posing as a terrorist, federal law enforcement sources said Thursday. [...] They were apprehended when they allegedly agreed to launder the money from the sale of a shoulder-fired missile, sources said.

And meanwhile in Britain: U.S.: Al Qaeda leader held in Britain.

[...] Heathrow Airport was one of "several potential" targets in London that were uncovered as a result of the Pakistan investigation.

It's long over due for moderate, secular Muslims to start loudly separating themselves as a matter of principle from theocratic and terror-sponsoring Islamists. Otherwise it's going to be hard to believe that moderate Muslims exist at all, much less in significant numbers.

(Here is another cartoon on this topic.)

UPDATE: This cartoon was inspired by commentary from Harry Binswanger on his HB List. The following is the relevant excerpt (titled "Moderate Muslims?") from a larger post looking at what hasn't happened (but should have) in the three years since 9/11:

Imagine that a sect of fanatical Jews blew up three American buildings, killing thousands. Imagine that this sect of Jews issued a declaration of holy war on the United States, in the name of Judaism.

What do you think would have been the response of the rest of the Jews in America and around the world? Our ears would have been deafened by the roar of Jews' moral outrage, their resounding support for America, and their demands for the destruction of the radical sect. You wouldn't be able to turn around in NYC or any urban center without seeing Jews wearing some insignia to show their love for America and hatred for the sect. There would be endless TV spots sponsored by Jewish organizations, there would be T-shirts with "Those killers aren't Jews," there would be multitudes of young Jews volunteering to go into the military to fight the sect. Israel would be acting in the same way.

So where is any peep from the Muslims? Or the Muslim nations?

The WSJ had a review of a new book What's Right with Islam, by Frisal Abdul Rauf. According to the review, "Mr. Abdul Rauf makes an effort to come to grips with this disastrous passivity [i.e., silence] on the part of Muslims, but his comments fall far short. To state that 'suicide bombing is a tragic phenomenon that strikes at us all' and to follow this up with the remark that 'it takes a terrible toll of innocent lives, while it also reflects the deep despair and hopelessness of its perpetrators' hardly seems commensurate with the magnitude of the disaster." I'll say. And I wouldn't describe Osama bin Laden or Muhammed Atta as filled with "despair and hopelessness."

Whatever it says or doesn't say in the Koran, there is something terribly wrong with a religion whose adherents fail to be heard in the 3 years after an attack of this magnitude made in their name.

Posted by Forkum at August 6, 2004 12:02 AM