Whew. Glad they cleared that up.
Seriously, however, did it ever flicker across the mind of Burlington County Times reporter Todd McHale that he had heard this before? Or if McHale hasn’t, surely one, at least one, reader of the Burlington County Times must have thought — wait a minute. We always hear this. After every last jihad terror attack, and every last jihad terror plot, the local Muslim leaders condemn it and say that Islam teaches peace. Every time. And yet the attacks and plots keep coming — attacks and plots by Islamic jihadists.
So does the question ever flicker across anyone’s mind? If it is really this open-and-shut a matter, if Islam really so clearly and decisively teaches peace, why do we keep seeing these stories? Why are there jihad terror attacks carried out in the name of Islam all over the world every day?
After all, Christianity teaches peace. Buddhism teaches peace. Judaism and Hinduism teach peace. But what a religion teaches and what its adherents do are not always the same thing. And people of all religions have done rotten things in the name of the religion. And yet, and yet, we still do not see this today on a regular basis from Jews or Christians or Buddhists or Hindus, the way we do from Muslims. We do not see, practically every day, all over the world, Jews and Christians and Buddhists and Hindus committing violent acts, or plotting them, and saying they’re doing it all for their God.
We do not see it, but if what Zahida Rahman says here is true, we should — if it’s that easy, that is, for the adherents of a peaceful religion to misunderstand their religion so thoroughly. But how did the Fort Dix jihadists come to be such utter Misunderstanders of Islam? The Rahmans don’t explain, and Todd McHale doesn’t ask.
By Todd McHale for the Burlington County Times:
PALMYRA “” Zia Rahman apparently attended a prayer service with several suspected terrorists, but he said he never imagined the men were capable of plotting an attack against Fort Dix.
“I have seen some of them (at the Islamic Center of South Jersey here) maybe four months ago,” Rahman said of brothers Dritan, Shain and Eljvir Duka, three Cherry Hill residents who were among the six men charged Tuesday with conspiring to attack and kill U.S. soldiers at Fort Dix.
Rahman, managing director of the Muslim American Community Association in Voorhees, Camden County, said he didn’t know the brothers by name, but they seemed quite friendly when he spoke to them at the center on Garfield Avenue in Palmyra.
“They came across as very polite and very respectful,” Rahman said. “I could not believe that they could be involved in this. If it’s true, I condemn it.
“These guys are not supposed to be involved in this type of behavior. Islam means peace, love and compassion. We’re not talking about violence and hostility,” he said.
Rahman’s wife, Zahida, said anyone who believes that Islam or members of the mosque would promote this sort of illegal activity is misguided.
“We don’t have any extremists here,” Zahida Rahman said yesterday after teaching a womans’ group at the center. “We teach the Koran here. We don’t teach extremism.”
She said she doesn’t know why any Muslim would be connected to such unspeakable acts.
“Islam doesn’t teach things like that,” Zahida Rahman said. “Islam means peace. Islam is not terrorism. In the Koran it says, “If you kill one person, you kill humanity. If you save one person, you save humanity.’ “
That’s Qur’an 5:32. Rahman, like President Bush and many, many others, did not go on to quote Qur’an 5:33. But I’m happy to help out. Here it is: “The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land.” How peaceful!
Both Rahmans said they were saddened by the involvement of Muslims in the alleged plot, but they said they hope everyone understands that people are responsible for terrorism “” not Islam.
“In every religion there are good people and there are bad people,” Zahida Rahman said. “Any community can have people who do something wrong. These guys did a bad thing. Their religion did not teach them of this.”
Then where did they get the idea that this was their religious responsibility?
While the Rahmans said they would pray for the suspects, they also expect the judicial system to do its part and punish anyone found responsible for the Fort Dix plot.
“Whether they are Muslim, Christian or Jew, they should be punished for this if it’s true,” Zahida Rahman said.
She said she has some concerns about reprisals from those who want to blame the mosque, or Muslims, for the plot.
Concerns. But nothing in the way of actual incidents, or even actual threats.