Saturday, January 17, 2015

'Muslims Urged to Condemn Terrorists: What Madness!'

A few days after the terrorist attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris, an article appeared on the French News website Rue89 entitled: 'Muslims urged to condemn terrorists: What Madness!' 

Here is a brief translation: 'It is absurd that we ask Muslims to dissociate themselves from Islamic barbarism! It is like asking women to dissociate themselves from Nabilla (a curvaceous French reality show star). Why do Muslims feel they need to condemn this heinous act more strongly than others? Why have the British Muslims launched an anti-terrorism campaign under the slogan "Not in My Name"? It presupposes that every Muslim is connected to Islamist terrorism and that it must publicly cut this link. This logic falls under what is called "Islamophobia". It's a crazy logic. So insanity against insanity, here is a list of 'désolidarisations' that should have been required. who knows why it didn't.'

The article then has a long list of absurd examples, to prove their point, such as 'We don't ask divers to dissociate themselves from those who sank the Rainbow Warrior, etc.'. The list casually also includes statements such as: 'We did not ask Christians to distance themselves from the Ku Klux Klan' and 'We did not ask the Basques to dissociate from the terrorist actions of ETA'.

In fact, Christians not only apologized for the Ku Klux Klan actions, but they passed the Civil Rights Ac of 1871, which empowered the President of the United States to suspend the writ of habeas corpus to combat the Ku Klux Klan. Many white American 'Christians' have apologized for KKK and Jim Crow, whether or not they had any part in it -- they see it as their collective responsibility. But Muslims find it demeaning to apologize for their coreligionists. It is this unwillingness to loudly and publicly condemn the extremists, to admonish them directly as unMuslim, that gives me unease.

Do you suppose we would have the open society that we have today, if the response to the Ku Klux Klan had been 'Christians urged to condemn the Ku Klux Klan: What Madness!'

'We did not ask the Basques to dissociate from the terrorist actions of ETA'. Again, we need to be reminded that large protest marches against the ETA were taking place in the 1990s. On several occasions, mostly after a high-profile terrorist attack, tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of Basques took to the streets to distance themselves from ETA’s methods.

Many Islamic groups condemn acts of terrorism as un-Islamic. But they do not condemn the Salafi theology that underpins the shallow understanding of Islamic principles that inform groups such as ISIS. It is like trying to treat the symptoms while allowing the cause to metastasize. You cannot separate political extremism from religious extremism. If you want to believe in something, be it Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, you have to have a motive and Islam has an obligation to prove itself worthy of being followed.

So, rather than complaining that they are asked to apologize for terrorist acts enacted in their name, Muslims could take steps to strongly condemn those acts. That means a continuous vigilance, since most terrorist acts are committed in the name of Islam. Charlie Hebdo was not attacked by Jews, Christians or any of the other groups that they so fervently satirized in their publication. They were attacked by Radical Islamists.

The West has built a culture of tolerance that is fragile and vulnerable. What happened that day, when 12 people were murdered in cold blood by 2 masked gunmen shouting 'Allahu Akbar', should be denounced by all Muslims. It IS their collective responsibility. leave comment here