Yet more evidence of the hollowness of the still-prevailing view that Islamic radicals are a tiny minority that has “hijacked” the religion: another Islamic teacher has been arrested — this time in Indonesia — on suspicion of terrorist activity: “Indonesian police said Monday an Islamic teacher arrested in East Java province last week planned to bomb police headquarters and has long been on their wanted list.” This from AFP, with thanks to Nicolei.
“Adi Suryana, 40, was arrested in the East Java capital of Surabaya on January 9. Police said at the time that he might have information on fugitive Malaysian explosives experts Azahari Husin and Noordin Mohammad Top, wanted for attacks including the 2002 Bali bombing that killed 202 people.
“‘We have long been looking for him,’ said the head of the national police detective department, Commissioner General Erwin Mappaseng. ‘He is the planner of terror, including the plan to bomb the headquarters of the national police and the Jakarta police headquarters.’
“Suryana had met seven times with a group in several Indonesian cities to prepare acts of terror, the officer said. ‘He is sort of their manager,’ Mappaseng said, adding that some of Suryana’s friends in the group had already been captured and tried in court.”
Now how could an Islamic teacher end up being the “manager” of a terrorist group? One would think, from listening to some Muslim spokesmen in America, that all his immersion in the Qur’an would calm his soul and make him a tolerant, peaceful individual. The fact that just the opposite is happening — on a global scale — is still a taboo subject in most of the American media, and certainly unspeakable in Western Europe. Conservative and liberal media outlets alike would prefer on the whole to pretend that this is all just an accident, that given the right circumstances there could be Christian terrorist groups around the world waging war in the name of their religion, and that to scrutinize the role of Islam in all this is somehow racist.
In fact, however, such a view, as common as it is, does a grave disservice to Muslims as well as non-Muslims, and leaves analysts with a huge blind spot in evaluating the true dimensions of the threat from jihadist groups. It is no more bigoted to say that there are elements of Islam in need of reform than it would be bigoted to point out that American Catholicism needs to undergo a period of introspection and change in the wake of the priest scandals. That elements of Islam are being used by terrorists as recruitment tools should by now be obvious to any person of good will. In light of this it should be the highest priority of self-proclaimed moderate Muslim groups to formulate a comprehensive internal response to this phenomenon: to root out these elements of Islam and to teach Muslims, not non-Muslims, that this form of Islam must be relegated to the history books once and for all.
This is not happening, and those in authority who should be calling for it are instead pretending that it need not be done, and that it is safe to assume that the overwhelming majority of Muslims abhor terror and have no attachment to the doctrines of violent jihad invoked by the radicals. Analysts who dare to point out evidence to the contrary have been driven out of the academy as well as out of government, and are generally ignored by the major media. This is why America could find that, despite her overwhelming technical and military advantage, she could end up losing this war after all.