Practically every day I speak to people — some of them in government and law enforcement — who assume, without any knowledge, that the jihadists have twisted and “hijacked” Islam. But this has never been established by evidence: there is no strong or influential Muslim group working and teaching against the violent jihad, and there is no sect or school of jurisprudence generally accepted as orthodox that does not teach that Muslims must wage war in order to establish the hegemony of the Islamic social order.
So what kind of a response do you think the UAC will get to this? I’m betting no response at all, except possibly accusations of “Islamophobia.”
“UAC Sends A Challenge To All Patriotic American Muslim Leaders,” a UAC press release:
Osama bin Laden has admitted on videotape he was responsible for 9/11 as has Ayman al Zawahiri. Over 3,000 American died on 9/11 in New York and at the Pentagon at the hands of fanatics that the American Muslim community maintains did not represent true Islam due to the murders of innocent civilians. Those who claim to represent the mainstream Muslim community in America, such as CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations, claim they oppose terrorism and violence. Others say these groups quietly work as cheering sections for international terrorism. Now, the United American Committee wishes to give the American Muslim community a chance to disprove such notions, and places an open challenge for American Muslim leaders to issue a fatwa against Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri.
The UAC recognizes that a previous fatwa backed by a large number of American Islamic organizations ambiguously declared; “Islam strictly condemns religious extremism and the use of violence against innocent lives,” this fatwa did not condemn any individuals by name, and did not define who is deemed to be innocent. Further, given that Muslims like Sheik Bakri of London declare, “Yes I condemn killing any innocent people, but not any kuffar,” kuffar referring to any non-Muslims, leaves the fatwa greatly open to interpretation.
Therefore, in August of 2005 the United American Committee officially denounced the fatwa and now puts a challenge to American Muslim leaders to issue a true fatwa against the Islamic terrorists Osama bin Laden, Ayman al Zawahiri, and those who support them. The United American Committee believes that most American Muslims do not condone violence or jihad against American soldiers and civilian citizens. In accordance with this, the UAC is offering a true opportunity for all Muslim leaders in the United States to prove their loyalty to America by issuing a fatwa which encourages the Islamic world to hunt down and bring Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri to justice.
In coming months, the UAC will write to the leaders of Muslim congregations in the United States making this request and will share with the public the responses from each on the UAC website at www.UnitedAmericanCommittee.org. UAC welcomes all patriotic American Muslims to show they are a supportive part of the American community as a whole in the War on Terror.
“This gives Muslim-Americans the same opportunity to stand up for our country as those brave volunteers did in the 442nd Regiment during World War II without actually going into combat,” said UAC Member Peter James, referring to the all Japanese regiment of the U.S. Army in the Second World War. James continued, “If an imam refuses to issue such an edict, one can only assume he does so out of a desire that Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri not be stopped, and that Al Qaeda’s killing spree is in fact something that Islamic leaders in America tacitly support. For Islamic leaders who consider themselves patriotic Americans, this should be a no-brainer.”
The UAC’s position is that given the long term nature of the War in Iraq and Afghanistan, and threats to American soldiers over there as well as threats at home, such edicts from American Muslim leaders would also bolster US support abroad in Muslim nations against anti-Americanism by creating a united front with all American Muslims regardless of their views on the war.
The UAC welcomes all Muslim-Americans into its ranks who wish to protect and preserve the United States of America and who do not support the goals of Osama bin Laden, Ayman al Zawahiri or al Qaeda.