“Zarqawi Tape Justifies Deaths,” from Australia’s SBS.com, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
Iraq’s al-Qaeda leader, Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi has purportedly defended the killing of “innocent Muslims” in suicide bombings aimed at international troops, saying it is in the name of religion.
The comments were included in an audio tape released on an Islamist web site, with the voice introduced as al-Zarqawi.
“The killing of infidels by any method including martyrdom operations has been sanctified by many scholars even if it meant killing innocent Muslims,” said the voice.
“This legality has been agreed upon … so as not to disrupt Jihad,” said the voice, speaking in Arabic.
Lately I have been getting more criticism than usual for not supporting moderate Muslims. One blogger asked: “Why are Spencer and Bat Ye’or joining with the Wahabis in defending the most rigid reactionary interpretation of the Koran? We know these reactionary interpretations dominate the Muslim world. That’s the problem. Why don’t they welcome challenges to monolithic interpretation, which would allow a liberal modern Islam to emerge? Why are they doing the Wahabis’ work for them?”
Of course I welcome challenges to reactionary Wahhabi interpretations of the Qur’an, and any genuine attempts to mitigate the violent exhortations of the Qur’an and Sunnah. One of my chief objections to various moderates has been that all too often their new interpretations are presented as if they are what Islam really teaches, and has always taught, and we are asked to believe that this is really the majority view in the Islamic world.
Others (notably Khaleel Mohammed) acknowledge that theirs is a minority view, but have not so far been forthcoming in explaining how they propose to convince their fellow Muslims, as opposed to non-Muslims, that their take on Islamic theology is correct.
And here, from Zarqawi, comes a test case. I would ask all moderate Muslims, including Khaleel Mohammed and any others, to explain how they would convince Zarqawi and those who are swayed by him that “the killing of infidels by any method including martyrdom operations” has not been “sanctified by many scholars even if it meant killing innocent Muslims.” Or if they can’t prove that this interpretation has not been “sanctified by many scholars,” then please at least construct an Islamic theological argument as to why these scholars are wrong.
If you can do that, I will support you wholeheartedly. Write me here, at email@example.com.