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“Muslims Condemn Terrorist Attacks”

Tim Hall says:

Some of the right-wing blogs I’ve been reading have complained that they’d heard no condemnation of the awful atrocity in Bali from the Islamic community. They should read this.

Yes we should. If we do, we find this:

Whoever has done this has committed a terrible sin and crime. The Quran says “Whoever kills a single human being unjustly is as though he had killed all of humankind” (Surah al-Ma’ida ayah 32). Deliberate murder of another person will put you in Hell forever. Imagine the punishment for those who have killed hundreds or thousands. Whoever has committed this atrocity will have God’s wrath upon him.

I fear the hatred and violence that will continue to flow from this. May Allah SWT help us all.

I also followed one of the links in this piece, to “Muslims Condemn Terrorist Attacks”, and then the links really start to pile up. I counted no less than 83.

Now I’m no expert on the nuances of Islamic theology, and I cannot possibly tell you how genuine all this condemnation really is. Do they all come from one particular part of the Islamic world, and are we only really looking at old-fashioned intra-Islamic infighting? Search me.

Are they perhaps merely pretending to condemn? Are they merely scared (“I fear the hatred and violence …”) that if the West’s plan A (“War Against Terrorism”) fails, then, united by the failure of plan A to prevent a series of Bali-type horrors around the world, the West might then switch to plan B (“nuke the damn lot of them”)?

Well if they are scared, good. They should be scared. If that message is getting through to the Islamic world, perhaps partly via its English-speaking fringes, good good good. There could hardly be better news for humanity than that.

Maybe this vast pile of links has already been Fisked into nothing in some blog now unknown to me and a commentator will supply the link with a sneerful flourish, and that will appear to be that.

But I say that even pretending is good. Someone obviously thought it worth assembling all these alleged condemnations of terrorism, even if they aren’t, to make it at least look as if terrorism is being condemned by at least some Muslims. Good. Real changes in thought often begin as a mere pretence that such change has already begun. In politics, again and again, you start by changing the window displays, and then your (at first) mere subterfuge works its way backwards into the shop itself. Such subterfuge does at least mean that some Muslims know that they have a problem.

And maybe it’s better than that. Maybe some of this is for real. Maybe those Good Muslims, whom we now curse for their insanely self-destructive silence, really are finding their voices. Maybe they found them months ago, and we’ve been missing it. True, many of the titles of these links do read more like defences of Islam against the charge of terrorism, rather than actual condemnations of terrorism, but like I say, even that is a step in the right direction, and others among them read like much bigger and more genuine steps in the right direction.

24 comments to “Muslims Condemn Terrorist Attacks”

  • myron

    Speaking personally, I am grateful for your optimism that there may be cause for hope in this area; I also salute your caution as well as your insight [the shop window analogy]. I for one pray you are correct.
    Whenever reason wanes, fear becomes a factor, and I try to come up with a model of how it can be quantified. I have not been very successful. But, as often the case in this matter, respect comes through fear in those whose culture is saturated with it. Clueless speaks of the Shame Culture in Islam. I also include the superstition factor as well.

  • I haven’t followed these links yet, but I think what we need, and maybe what Tim Hall et al might have been referring to, is condemnation of terrorist attacks from important leading Muslims, in important visible public places.

    There are bound to be some Muslims who despise terrorism, but there are two reasons why people may not be hearing them; one is failure to listen, and the other is that they aren’t loud enough. Maybe they will get louder, or maybe not.

    What are the most important Muslim leaders in, say, the UK saying to the press at the moment? And should we be doing something about those who fail to stand up and be counted when mass murder is afoot?

  • Yes, the bombing is being condemned by the Islamic movement in Indonesia and they are going to get really upset if the US do it again!

    For his part, president of the Islamic Defense Front (FPI), al-Habib Muhammad Rizq Shihab, strongly criticized the blasts that killed many civilians, pointing a finger of accusation to “the only party to make gains out of that innocent blood”.

    “I believe those responsible for the bombing are Americans, the CIA for example. They had to prove that Indonesia was a “terror bed” and this is what is now being proven according to them,” Shihab said, adding that Indonesia was not a terror hotbed.

    Draw your own conclusions as to the desire of the Indonesian authorities to follow this up.

  • A_t

    Have any of you ever known any Muslims? You seem to be under this weird impression that they’re all going to be fanatical killers.

    Animosity towards America, support for Saddam as someone who’s stood up to the US is endemic throughout the third world, & is by no means a solely Muslim preserve.

  • David Carr


    How is your dialogue with Mr.Al-Masri coming along?

  • Registered Independent Joel

    I have known many Muslims, though I don’t have the pleasure of counting any among my friends today. They are, like most peoples, a mixed bag.

    The most selfish, arrogant, woman-hating bigot I have ever known was a Muslim.

    The best instructor I ever had in college was a Muslim. Dr. Mani Mina, who still teaches EE at Iowa State. Very funny, technically brilliant, genuinely concerned about his students.

    And I’ve known Muslims who, like most of us, don’t stick out from the norm in any particular way.

    What is different about Muslims is their leaders. I have never heard of any prominent Christian, Jewish, or Hindu leaders telling their followers that God wanted them to murder those who insult them. Salman Rushdie, Jerry Falwell, and every US President since Carter have all had fatwas issued against them. No other religion has such a large number of leaders who do that.

    Now maybe it’s really Arab culture that’s at fault, or maybe it’s inherent in Islam, or maybe it has more to do with politics. I don’t know. But something about Islam, in its modern manifestation, is poisonous.

  • Yeah, I’ve known Muslims. I’ve met the ones that take one look at the Star of David necklace I wear and who then glare daggers at me and speak to their friends in their own language, and later, tell my friends that they shouldn’t be friends with a Jew.

    I know African-American Muslims. And I met the Syrian Muslims who rented my apartment after me, as they came by several times to see if they wanted to rent it. The genuine friendship in their eyes was a pleasure to see–and I still wear that Star of David, and it was right out in the open for them to know that I’m Jewish. I even discussed Syrian Jews with them.

    So what’s your point?

  • Marc Savoy

    You say no less than 83? Sounds like a real groundswell to me. Maybe even an avalanche.
    How many condemnations from members of the “Religion of Peace” to qualify as a paradigm shift?

  • Gary Duncan

    If the acts of islamic terror do not cease, it may become necessary to issue, once again, Executive Order 9066.

  • Gary Duncan

    I roomed, for a short period, with a muslim from Syria while in college. The one salient point I recall about him was his admiration for Hitler. I declined to explore why he admired him so, but if I were a betting man I would say it was Hitler’s anti-semitism that he found enchanting. Thankfully it was a summer semester and I only had to share a dorm with the racist for four weeks.

    He wasn’t a fanatical killer(although this was fourteen years ago, so who knows he could be a card carrying member of al qaida now), but he admired and supported one. This is the real problem with arab/muslim culture. They support the worst kind of leadership; a leadership that issues fatwas(the mafia calls them contracts) against writers, preachers, and democratically elected heads of state. As long as the ayatollahs, imams, dictators, and autocrats find purchase in the arab/muslim culture, the free world will continue to suffer the plague of islamic terrorism. When arab/muslim culture learns that the ayatollahs, imams, dictators and autocrats are not worthy of its support, only then will the free world rid itself of islamic terrorism.

  • Michael Brandwein

    Meryl Yourish;You really scored some big knock-out points in the name of Muslim tolerance and mutual respect with your lovely,heart-warming illustration. I mean,’you even discussed Syrian Jews with them’.What about? How they were viciously persecuted for years,held as international hostages by successive Syrian governments in an attempt to extract as many concessions as possible from the World Jewish community before finally being allowed to emigrate penniless being forced to pay huge exit fees after many,many decades of suffering and persecution and the destrcution of a thousand year old community?? Someone with your intelligence and background ought to know better.

  • There are over a billion Muslims in the world — surely they can’t all believe exactly the same thing, or hold exactly the same political views, or all endorse terror on strictly religious grounds. But if you look at the countries in which they live, by and large they are ruled by small cliques or single strongmen, among whom a consensus of views isn’t as difficult to reach.

    The main problem with the Islamic world is a problem of government, exacerbated by modern technology that allows for a far greater degree of control of the populace than the tyrants of old could have dreamed of.

    I do not think that a free Islamic nation would suddenly adopt the culture of our Western democracies. I don’t think women would suddenly run around in bikinis. I think even 1950s American sitcoms would seem risque. But I do think that these societies would start moving forward again, rather than backward.

  • Brandwhine = Doofus

    Yourish isn’t trying to say ALL of the Muslim world is great, she’s saying she’s found some pretty good inviduals. Her story illustrates that. Your response ignores her point, and addresses something else. In other words, your post is crap.

  • Michael Brandwein,

    So, what, I’m supposed to hate ALL Muslims because some are scumbags?

    I don’t need a Jewish history lesson from you or anyone. I’m the first to admit I have a huge chip on my shouder regarding Muslims. You have no idea what we discussed, and you zing both me and the Syrian who rented my apartment, assuming the worst.

    Well, it wasn’t the worst. It was a nice experience, to be in a room with two strangers who happened to be Syrian Muslims, and who knew I was Jewish, and who didn’t hate me because of that. Who were, in fact, quite reasonable and friendly.

    I don’t know where you live, but here in America, we take great pride in having things like that occur on a daily basis.

    My best friend now is of German extraction. My closest friends growing up were Polish Catholics. By your standards, I should hate all three of them for what their countries did to Jews.

    Not gonna happen.

    Tellya what. You live in your bigoted little world. Meantime, I’ll keep my eyes and mind open. I like my way a lot better.

  • Meryl Yourish, Michael Levy: No need to get personal. Michael Brandwein makes a point that is important. You say that not all Muslims are ‘bad’ because you, as a Jew, found some individual Muslims you could relate to. A fair point. By the same token, Michael is entitled to make a point that just because you’ve met some decent individual Muslism, that doesn’t excuse the crimes, violence and persecution that Muslims as a collective group committed against Jews within their reach in Syria (or elsewhere). It works both ways.

    It’s like saying that I will not believe all these horrible things about Goebbels because he loved his children, had a puppy and I had a really lovely conversation with him at a drinks party. What it does mean though is that it is right to treat people as individuals, first and foremost, and not as members of a collective they may apparently belong to. It also means that it would be foolish to continue to treat them as such if their behaviour is dictated solely by that collective, i.e. they do not behave as individuals. So, if some Muslims chose to be individuals and judge actions of the ‘Muslimhood’ by their true merits, it is correct to exempt them from our general judgements about Muslims. If they, however, subscribe to all the beliefs and principles of Islamic fundamentalism with its extremes, then it would be irrational not to act accordingly.

    Finally, did I mention there is no need to get personal?

  • A_t

    Meryl Yourish has posted the only smart things in this whole discussion. Respect.

    The rest of you, from my perspective, seem hell bent on ensuring that picky little ethnic/religious conflicts escalate, old grudges are held forever, & world-destroying conflict goes ahead as planned.

    I guess maybe I should stop hanging out here!

  • I fail to see how 9/11, Bali bombs, Saddam’s beligerence, etc, etc are results of “picky little ethnic/religious conflicts”. Byeeeee.

  • A_t

    ok… just a little one b4 i leave…

    They may have got inflated out of all proportion, but at the end of the day, all these things are is individuals saying ‘i don’t like you because you’re x’ which, to my mind is a small, picky thing, particularly if based largely on ethnic/religious grouping. If people make it into a big thing, start killing people for it, it’s certainly not MY perspective that’s skewed.

    I was in no way saying that the events these things lead to are either small or trivial.

  • A_t, amen to that. I agree with that attitude and your attempt to stop trivial things escalating to tragedies. Getting carried away with labelling people all over the place is making things worse.

    I have no interest in labelling Muslims as my enemies – it doesn’t give me a sense of superiority, or satisfaction, it doesn’t in any way defuse my fear and frustration or has any such emotive and non-rational value. I simply want to protect my freedom, or whatever is left of it after the state has a go.

    As I said in my previous comment, if you’d cared to read it, I will treat anyone as an individual before I treat them as a member of an ethnic, religious or any other collective grouping. I will not treat them that way, however, if they do not treat me as an individual and threaten to put explosives my way!

  • A_t

    🙂 cool… it was mainly Michael Brandwein’s comments that depressed me; he seemed to imply that these Muslims could not possibly be sympathetic to the plight of the Syrian Jews, and that Meryl Yourish was foolish even to have spoken with them. Right there lies the path to long-term hatred. Assuming individuals will embody some evil trait or other, which you ascribe to a larger group that they happen to belong to. That, without getting too hysterical about it, is the mirror image of the path which leads people from resentment of some aspects of US foreign policy to feeling justified in killing innocent American civilians.

  • David Carr


    Please don’t go before you update us about your attempts at dialogue with Mr.Al-Masri. We wouldn’t want to be left just wondering

  • myron

    I have read in national review(NRO online, the article: the End of an Alliance), that the Saudi family, with their money and stranglehold on muslim clergy. all but silence publically the potential for diissenting opinion on extremist islam itself.
    So, its follow the money, always follow the money. Saudi must be destroyed and soon. they are far easier to take than Iraq.

  • A_t

    hmm… rather than destruction, how about just withdrawing support? No need to kill loads of people just yet! When do we (read western governments) *ever* seriously criticise Saudi? Reform of some kind might well be possible, if we only stop propping up these tyrants, and actually live up to our reputations for promoting human rights & democracy around the world.

  • A_t

    sorry! for “reputations” read “claims”.