I’ll take you up on that. The words in the headline were spoken by Noyan Er, a doctoral student at Ohio University who asserts, as do many other American Muslims, that “the important question is not why (bin Laden) did it, but ‘is it because of” the Qur’an? Er answers his own question: “The answer is ‘definitely not.'”
Well, I’m glad to hear that, but I find it somewhat troubling that Osama himself would disagree. And here is Zarqawi presenting a detailed Islamic argument justifying his actions — an argument I discussed here. I’d like to see Noyan Er or any other Muslim present an Islamic refutation of Zarqawi’s argument. Ibrahim? Stephen? Khaleel? Anyone? Anyone? Everyone in the world assumes that moderate Muslims have the theological advantage within Islam, and will easily be able to put the kibosh on the jihadists. If you do not believe this dogma, you won’t be able to get published in numerous august journals of the Left and the Right. But it is a dogma without foundation: there has been no formulation of a moderate Islam such that will convince the jihadists that they are heretics. If anyone thinks they have one, please send it to me. I have been searching in vain for 25 years now.
From “Religion in Our Community: Islamic Center proud of its ethnic, national diversity,” in the Athens News, with thanks to Designnut:
Violence and discrimination towards Muslims is a result of inaccurate messages Americans have toward Islam and those who practice it, Al-Akhras argued. “One of the biggest problems with presenting Islam in a negative light is that it creates a culture of fear. Ignorance allows this to take hold,” he said.
In the Athens Islamic Center study room, Ayech maintained that the news media only presented a balanced Muslim perspective from professors of Islam in the days after Sept. 11, but provided silence afterwards. “It takes time to calm fears. This is a short stage that fades away,” he said.
Er acknowledged that fearing Muslims is a natural reaction after the terrorist attacks, but he is more concerned about the image of the religion, not its people. “How we are judged is not important,” he said. “What is important is how the Quran is judged. People should learn what it is saying, then judge (Islam).”
The clear message these Athens Muslims want to send is that the actions of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda do not follow the teachings of Islam’s holy book. “The important question is not why (bin Laden) did it, but ‘is it because of this?'” Er said, pointing at the Quran. “The answer is ‘definitely not.'”