My old pal Ibrahim Hooper complains in this article: “It’s one of the things we still hear: ‘Why won’t Muslims condemn terrorism?’ When I go on a radio talk show, that is the first thing that I hear. That’s just not true. Muslims – not only CAIR but all the groups – have been condemning terrorism for years. Some people just don’t want to hear it.”
He’s right, you know. I often get asked the same thing myself, and I tell the questioners the same thing Hooper does: they have condemned terrorism. Again and again. However, it is time to recognize that condemnations are no longer enough, if they ever were. We must remember that the Global Relief Foundation, which has now been shut down for allegedly funding terror, had a ringing condemnation of 9/11 on its website. We must remember that the recently-arrested Lodi imams participated in peace rallies with Christians and Jews after 9/11. We must remember that Arafat frequently condemned terror attacks. These and other examples of insincerity don’t of themselves lead to the conclusion that every other Muslim group that condemns terror is being insincere also, but they underscore the need for their words to be backed up with deeds.
“Hoping to be heard this time,” from Newsday, with thanks to The One Who Must Not Be Named:
It was one of the ugliest myths of 9/11, repeated so many times some people actually started to believe it.
The myth was that large numbers of American Muslims danced and cheered when the planes hit the towers, celebrating a vicious attack on innocent civilians as some kind of twisted victory for Islam.
This was always a lie.
Oh, sure, a couple of knuckleheads here and there might have clowned for a TV camera. And every group has its evil zealots on the fringe. But they didn’t speak for the vast majority of American Muslims any more than Eric Rudolph, the Olympic Park bomber and Christian Identity nut-job, speaks for American Christians….
“Many good people continue to send me money and books,” Rudolph writes in an undated letter. “Most of them have, of course, an agenda; mostly born-again Christians looking to save my soul. I suppose the assumption is made that because I’m in here I must be a ‘sinner’ in need of salvation, and they would be glad to sell me a ticket to heaven, hawking this salvation like peanuts at a ballgame. I do appreciate their charity, but I could really do without the condescension. They have been so nice I would hate to break it to them that I really prefer Nietzsche to the Bible.”
Yet I still get email minimizing Islamic jihad violence on the grounds that this man was a Christian. But Newsday doesn’t bother to go beneath the surface in this report on Muslims either. No mention is made of the CAIR officials arrested on terror-related charges, or of CAIR’s Nihad Awad’s statements supporting Hamas, etc. etc.:
I’m like a lot of people here, I guess. I can’t get to work in the morning without having at least casual contact with a Muslim or six, starting with the Pakistani guy at the newsstand and the Syrian woman at the coffee place.
And I’m pretty sure neither one of them wants to see me incinerated on the No. 6 train platform.
Do you, Mohammed?
I hope not, Hala!
Militant jihadists have struck again, in London this time – and the sweeping generalizations are about to erupt again.
Or are they?
Having learned a few lessons from last time, American Muslim leaders sprang into action Thursday morning, putting out loud and clear denunciations of the latest terror attacks. No words were minced.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, the Muslim American Society and the Islamic Association of North America – every major group had put a statement out by the time their leaders headed to their mosques on Friday afternoon.
And it wasn’t just the big, national groups. They were joined by the Islamic Association of North Texas, the American Moslem Society of Dearborn, Mich., and just about every group with a letterhead and an M in its name.
“We join Americans of all faiths, and all people of conscience worldwide, in condemning these barbaric crimes that can never be justified or excused,” the Council on American-Islamic Relations declared.
“Our condemnations are universal and unequivocal,” said the Arab-American Forum.
“Attacking civilians who are going about their daily business is a criminal act that violates Islamic principles, and must be condemned by all Muslims,” said the Islamic Society of North America.
On Friday before prayer services, leaders of the major groups met with David Manning, the British ambassador in Washington, offering their formal condolences to the victims and their families. Let there be no mistake how American Muslims feel.
So, will they be heard? Ibrahim Hooper certainly hopes so.
As communications director of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, he drafted the condemnation statement immediately after 9/11. It was published, among other places, as a full-page ad in The Washington Post. Then, Hooper spent the next three-plus years hearing angry talk that Muslims hadn’t spoken out.
“It’s one of the things we still hear: ‘Why won’t Muslims condemn terrorism?'” he was saying at week’s end.
“When I go on a radio talk show, that is the first thing that I hear. That’s just not true. Muslims – not only CAIR but all the groups – have been condemning terrorism for years. Some people just don’t want to hear it.”
So Muslims have to keep trying, he said. “Whenever we have the opportunity, we’ll say it again. ‘We denounce it. We denounce it.’ We are hoping to be heard this time.”
Great. I trust we will soon see a concerted effort among American Muslims to root out adherents of the jihadist ideology from among them. But I am not holding my breath.