Monday, July 11, 2005

UK Muslims
Upset At Bristish Frustration
With Islamist Terrorists

From the Chicago Tribune:

Hours after terrorist bombs tore into London's transport network Thursday, Muhammed Abdul Bari experienced another high-tech explosion of hate. Someone unleashed what he called an e-mail bomb of thousands of hate-filled messages to the Web site of the Muslim Council of Britain.
By Sunday, Bari, who also is the chairman of the East London Mosque, was reading a different message. The e-mails were running about 4-1 in favor of positive messages and sympathy for the predicament facing Muslim Londoners.

"Whoever did this," Bari said, referring to four bombs that ripped through three subway trains and a bus last week, "did a terrible callous thing. It's atrocious. . . . These groups claim to be Muslim, but who are they really?"

"One thing is clear: Londoners, Muslim and non-Muslim, are united against this," he said.
As crews continued trying to retrieve bodies after the worst terrorist strike ever in downtown London, communities of faith prayed for calm Sunday and mourned the dead, who number at least 49.

Britain's religious leaders later made a joint appearance, appealing to Muslims, Christians and Jews to find unity and resolve in a condemnation of terrorism. Earlier in the week, Home Secretary Charles Clarke had met with Muslim leaders to keep abreast of possible tensions.

At the East London Mosque, one of the largest mosques in the capital, the idea that radical Muslims could be tied to the unprecedented attack was frustrating on many levels. So far there is no evidence of who committed the crimes except Web site claims by groups linked to the radical Al Qaeda network.

More devastating for the Muslims who live in neighborhoods surrounding the mosque is that the attacks struck the physical heart of London's Muslim communities.

The Aldgate subway station, near where one of the bombs exploded, is a few feet from the East London Mosque and serves the richly diverse community of Bangladeshis and Pakistanis. The Edgware Station also is a Muslim hub. Among the missing and dead are members of London's 600,000-strong Muslim population.

"The people who did this are not friends of Islam," Bari said.

Conversations about the attacks were painful. One family in the mosque's congregation is missing a 23-year-old daughter. Others said they knew people injured. Some were sensitive to and dismayed by the way government officials had spoken about the possible role of Islamic extremists.

"When Tony Blair talked about Islam and then Islamist terrorists, who is he talking about?" asked Ahmed Salim, 26. " Osama bin Laden is not representative of Islam. . . . The way [Blair] spoke, it was ridiculous."

First, Tony Blair did not blame Islam for the bombings. Then note that, once again, the thing the Muslim community is most concerned with is that fellow Muslims were killed in the attack. Are non-Muslims not worth as much as fellow Muslims?

And on top of it all, to quibble with the idea that Islamist terrorists were behind the bombing is absurd. A group going by the name of Al Qaeda Europe claimed responsibility. The definition of Islamism is the following:

Islamism is a political ideology derived from the conservative religious views of Muslim fundamentalism. It holds Islam is not only a religion, but also a political system that governs the legal, economic and social imperatives of the state. The goal of Islamism is to re-shape the state by implementing its conservative formulation of Islamic law.

Clearly, Al Qaeda are Islamist terrorists, so there was nothing wrong with what Tony Blair said, unless you are in favor of Islamism.

Now, let us look at a list, compiled by Someguy at the fine blog Mystery Achievement, of what these Islamist terrorists have been up to the past few years:

1. They attack Red Cross personnel.

2. They murder people working for the UN.

3. They kidnap and kill care workers.

4. They bomb holiday-makers, in nightclubs.

5. They blow up people travelling on trains - civilians.

6. They target people on buses - civilians.

7. They take civilian hostages.

8. They decapitate them.

9. They murder trade unionists.

10. They kidnap diplomats.

11. They kill people for being... barbers.

12. They fly aircraft full of civilians into skyscrapers where people are at work.

13. They take schoolchildren hostage and murder them.

14. They bomb synagogues.

15. They kill people shopping in a market.

16. They kill people queuing at a medical clinic.

17. They murder children in Baghdad.

18. They murder people on their way to work in London.

That's quite a list, when you think about it. How, in light of such a recent history, can Muslims blame anyone for using the phrase Islamist terrorism?

I use the terms Islamism, and Islamofascism, so that I can differentiate between decent Muslims, and those who want to wage Jihad to spread Sharia across the face of the planet.

If Muslims now want to criticize people for using the term Islamist Terrorists, then maybe they ought to come up with another distinction for us. The old idea of simply denying that people who commit terrorist acts are Muslims just isn't working.

Robert Spencer says it's time Muslims start doing more than simply condemning terrorism:

... 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.

What can Muslims do? Well, they could

1) start by contacting Christian churches, Jewish Synagogues, and Mormon Temples down to their mosques for a day of gathering up the hate material, and carting it to the recycling plant.

2) call the FBI everytime they hear of Islamist terrorists recruiting people on campus or in a Mosque.

3) eject Imams and other speakers from Mosques when you hear them say things like this and this.

When mainstream Muslims start taking strong action against such hatred, then they can expect the level of respect for their community to rise dramatically. Until then, they can expect suspicion.