But how will he keep from being deceived at his international conference on Islamic extremism? Will he settle there simply for more high-sounding words condemning terrorism, or will he insist there that Muslims acknowledge that jihad terrorists are using the Qur’an and Sunnah to recruit terrorists, and that they develop an effective plan to convince their fellow Muslims that the jihadist understanding of Islam is false and even heretical? Will he insist that this plan, if it is developed at all, be implemented in mosques worldwide?
I like the idea of addressing this problem, and agree that it is preferable to Bush’s squawking parrot Islam-is-peace act, but I fear that this conference will give us on a large scale what we have been getting all along from the likes of Ibrahim Hooper: bland assurances that Islam actually teaches peace, tolerance, mutual respect, harmony, love for the People of the Book, etc. etc. All of this pabulum served up, of course, with no recognition whatsoever of how these worldwide terrorists actually developed their allegedly twisted version of Islam, or how it can be untwisted today.
But that is the only possible good that could come of a conference like this: active efforts by Muslims to eradicate “extremism” within their own communities. Anything short of this will show once again that the non-Muslim world simply cannot afford to depend on these empty condemnations, and must maintain a strong defensive posture, restore sanity to immigration policies, monitor mosques, and more.
“Blair takes on Islamic extremism,” from the Washington Times, :
British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who yesterday called for an international conference on Islamic extremism, is proving far more willing than President Bush to demand that Muslim leaders confront their own failings in the global war on terror.
In the two weeks since coordinated suicide bombings killed at least 56 persons on London’s subways and a bus, Mr. Blair has repeatedly said the Islamic community and scholars face a special responsibility to curb the “evil ideology” behind the attacks.
Britain’s Muslims must “confront this evil ideology, take it on and defeat it by the force of reason and argument,” Mr. Blair told reporters in London on Monday.
Mr. Blair should also remember, as he attempts to emulate Mr. Churchill, that while reason and argument have a crucial place, Mr. Hitler was not defeated by them alone.
British officials said details of the proposed conference remain sketchy, but Mr. Blair told the House of Commons yesterday that it would address head-on the sources of Islamist violence, such as Muslim religious schools in Pakistan and other countries that have a violently anti-Western bias.
The British prime minister noted that more than two dozen countries have been attacked by al Qaeda and its affiliates, and Britain cannot defeat the threat alone.
“Though the terrorists will use all sorts of issues to justify what they do, the roots of it do go deep, they are often not found in this country alone, [and] therefore international action is also necessary,” he said.
Mr. Blair’s response contrasts with the language used by Mr. Bush after the September 11 attacks, also engineered by al Qaeda and its sympathizers.
Despite leading military coalitions to oust regimes in overwhelmingly Muslim Afghanistan and Iraq, Mr. Bush repeatedly insists that his global war on terror is not a war on Islam.
“The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace,” he said in a visit to Washington’s Islamic Center just five days after the 2001 attacks.