Here is a case study in the hazards of limiting the discourse on Islamic jihad to what parties with highly dubious intentions (“friend and ally” illusions aside) are willing to talk about, which is a consequence of banishing certain terms from the “terrorism” lexicon. Doing would deprive us of tools with which to challenge vague language like this from the Saudi king, the Deobandis, and others. And whom does that make safer?
“Saudi king: End Islamic extremism,” from YNet News:
Islam must do away with the dangers of extremism and present the religion’s positive message, Saudi King Abdullah said Wednesday as he opened a conference of Muslim figures aimed at launching a dialogue with Christians and Jews.
The three-day gathering in the holy city of Mecca seeks a unified Muslim voice ahead of the interfaith dialogue. In particular, Saudi Arabia hopes to promote reconciliation between Shiite and Sunni Muslims.
“You have gathered today to tell the whole world that … we are a voice of justice and values and humanity, that we are a voice of coexistence and a just and rational dialogue,” Abdullah told the 500 Muslim delegates from 50 Muslim nations in his opening speech.
Abdullah walked into the conference hall Wednesday with powerful Iranian politician Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who later sat on the king’s left on the stage, sending a message that the Sunni kingdom does not have a problem with moderate Shiites like him.
Abdullah announced in March that he wanted to sponsor an interfaith dialogue between the world’s monotheistic religions “” specifically including Jews. It was the first such initiative from a nation with no diplomatic ties to Israel and a ban on non-Muslim religious services and symbols.
He said Wednesday that the Islamic world faces difficult challenges from the extremism of some Muslims, whose aggressions “target the magnanimity, fairness and lofty aims of Islam.”
“That’s why (the conference) invitation was extended “” to face the challenges of isolation, ignorance and narrow horizons, so that the world can absorb the good message of Islam,” he said.