It was bound to be said by someone sooner or later: the Russian school terror was all the work of the Jews. But not all the news is bad, although as I show here, Tantawi's reaction was not all it seemed to be. Abdulrahman al-Rashed says something below that I've seen many people get called "Islamophobic" for saying in America. From AP, with thanks to Nicolei:
Muslims worldwide are the main perpetrators of terrorism, a humiliating and painful truth that must be acknowledged, a prominent Arab writer and television executive wrote Saturday, as Middle East media and officials expressed horror at the bloody rebel siege of a Russian school.
Unusually forthright self-criticism followed the end of the hostage crisis, along with warnings that such actions inflict more damage to the image of Islam than all its enemies could hope. Arab leaders and Muslim clerics denounced the school seizure as unjustifiable and expressed their sympathy.
Russian commandos stormed the school Friday in Beslan, Russia; it had been taken over by rebels demanding independence for Chechnya. Russian officials said Saturday that the death toll was in the hundreds - many of them children.
Images of terrified young survivors being carried from the scene aired repeatedly on Arab TV stations. Pictures of dead and wounded children ran on front pages of Arab newspapers Saturday.
"Holy warriors" from the Middle East long have supported fellow Muslims fighting in Chechnya, and Russian officials said nine or 10 Arabs were among militants killed.
"Our terrorist sons are an end-product of our corrupted culture," Abdulrahman al-Rashed, general manager of Al-Arabiya television wrote in his daily column published in the pan-Arab Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper. It ran under the headline, "The Painful Truth: All the World Terrorists are Muslims!"
Al-Rashed ran through a list of recent attacks by Islamic extremist groups - in Russia, Iraq, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen - many of which are influenced by the ideology of Osama Bin Laden, the Saudi-born leader of the al-Qaida terror network.
"Most perpetrators of suicide operations in buses, schools and residential buildings around the world for the past 10 years have been Muslims," he wrote. Muslims will be unable to cleanse their image unless "we admit the scandalous facts," rather than offer condemnations or justifications.
"The picture is humiliating, painful and harsh for all of us," al-Rashed wrote.
Contributors to Islamic Web sites known for their extremist content had mixed reactions on the hostage crisis, with some praising the separatists. Others wrote that people should wait until the militants had been identified before implicating Arabs in the drama.
Ahmed Bahgat, an Egyptian Islamist, wrote in his column in Egypt's leading pro-government newspaper, Al-Ahram, that hostage-takers in Russia as well as in Iraq are only harming Islam.
"If all the enemies of Islam united together and decided to harm it ... they wouldn't have ruined and harmed its image as much as the sons of Islam have done by their stupidity, miscalculations, and misunderstanding of the nature of this age," Bahgat wrote.
The horrifying images of the dead and wounded Russian students "showed Muslims as monsters who are fed by the blood of children and the pain of their families."
Mohammed Mahdi Akef, leader of Egypt's largest Islamic group, the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, said in general, kidnappings may be justified, but killings are not. He said the school siege did not fit the Islamic concept of jihad, or holy war.
"What happened yesterday is not jihad because our Islam obligates us to respect the souls of human beings; it is not about taking them away," Akef told The Associated Press.
A bit disingenuous, eh, Akef, in light of Qur'an 9:5, 9:29, etc.?
Ali Abdullah, a Bahraini scholar who follows the ultraconservative Salafi stream of Islam, condemned the school attack as "un-Islamic," but insisted Muslims weren't behind it.
"I have no doubt in my mind that this is the work of the Israelis who want to tarnish the image of Muslims and are working alongside Russians who have their own agenda against the Muslims in Chechnya," said Abdullah.