The Missing Muslim Outcry
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The Missing Muslim Outcry

The Missing Muslim Outcry

The real insult to Islam is the violence, terror, and bloodshed that Islamist fanatics unleash in the name of their religion

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As she lay dying in a Mogadishu hospital, Sister Leonella forgave her killers. She had lived in Africa for almost four decades and could speak fluent Somali, but her last words were murmured in Italian, her mother tongue. "Perdono, perdono," she whispered. I forgive, I forgive.

She was 65 and had devoted her life to the care of sick mothers and children. She was on her way to meet three other nuns for lunch on Sunday when two gunmen shot her several times in the back. "Her slaying was not a random attack," the Associated Press reported. It "raised concerns" that she was the latest victim of "growing Islamic radicalism in the country."

Raised concerns? Sister Leonella was gunned down less than two days after a prominent Somali cleric had called on Muslims to kill Pope Benedict XVI for his remarks about Islam in a scholarly lecture last week.

"We urge you, Muslims, wherever you are to hunt down the pope for his barbaric statements," Sheik Abubukar Hassan Malin had exhorted worshippers during evening prayers at a Mogadishu mosque. "Whoever offends our prophet Mohammed should be killed on the spot by the nearest Muslim." Sister Leonella was not the pope, but she was presumably close enough for purposes of the local jihadis.

If it weren't so sickening, it would be farcical: A line in the pope's speech suggests that Islam has a dark history of violence, and offended Muslims vent their displeasure by howling for his death, firebombing churches, and attacking innocent Christians. One of the points Benedict made in his speech at the University of Regensburg was that religious faith untethered by reason can lead to savagery. The mobs denouncing him could hardly have done a better job of proving him right.

In his lecture, Benedict quoted the late Byzantine emperor Manuel II, who had condemned Islam's militancy with these words: "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."

In the ensuing uproar, British Muslims demonstrated outside Westminster Cathedral with signs reading "Pope go to Hell" and "Islam will conquer Rome," while the head of the Society of Muslim Lawyers declared that the pope must be "subject to capital punishment." In Iraq, the radical Mujahideen's Army vowed to "smash the crosses in the house of the dog from Rome" and the Mujahideen Shura Council swore to "continue our jihad and never stop until God avails us to chop your necks." Arsonists in the West Bank set churches on fire, and a group calling itself "The Sword of Islam" opened fire on a Greek Orthodox church in Gaza and issued a warning: "If the pope does not appear on TV and apologize for his comments, we will blow up all of Gaza's churches."

In fact, the pope did apologize, more than once. He emphasized that the words he had quoted "do not in any way express my personal thought" and said he was "deeply sorry" that Muslims had taken offense. Whether the studied frenzy will now subside remains to be seen. But it is only a matter of time until the next one erupts.

It is a staggering double standard, and too many in the West seem willing to go along with it.

This time it was a 14th-century quote from a Byzantine ruler that set off -- or rather, was exploited by Islamist firebrands to ignite -- the international demonstrations, death threats, and violence. Earlier this year it was cartoons about Mohammed in a Danish newspaper. Last year it was a Newsweek report, later retracted, that a Koran had been desecrated by a US interrogator in Guantanamo. Before that it was Jerry Falwell's comment on "60 Minutes" that Mohammed was a "terrorist." Back in 1989 it was the publication of Salman Rushdie's satirical novel, The Satanic Verses.

In every case, the pretext for the Muslim rage was the claim that Islam had been insulted. Freedom of speech was irrelevant: While the rioters and those inciting them routinely insult Christianity, Judaism, and other religions, they demand that no one be allowed to denigrate Islam or its prophet. It is a staggering double standard, and too many in the West seem willing to go along with it. Witness the editorials in US newspapers this week scolding the pope for his speech. Recall the State Department's condemnation of the Danish cartoons last winter.

Of course nobody's faith should be gratuitously affronted. But the real insult to Islam is not a line from a papal speech or a cartoon about Mohammed. It is the violence, terror, and bloodshed that Islamist fanatics unleash in the name of their religion -- and the unwillingness of most of the world's Muslims to say or do anything to stop them.

Published: September 24, 2006


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Visitor Comments: 25

(25) Anonymous, December 13, 2010 7:02 PM

Americans need to wake up

In my 61 years of living, I have learned a few things. 1. Whether we want it or not, there will be change. So, the question is "Do we want change by design? or by default?" So far, it seems that change by default is winning. Americans....including non-violent Muslim Americans....need to wake up before it's too late. Hitler succeeded in killing millions because the "good" Germans, those who were not Nazi, refused to voice their outrage and thus contributed to the evil. When the Gainesville pastor threatened to burn copies of the Koran, US christians, US jews and US secular groups stood wall to wall in repudiation of his plan. Where is the non-violent Muslims' condemnation of the radical Muslims' evil actions???? Is it because they really believe the passage in the Koran that states non-believers must be killed...helped to their deaths?....So, WAKE UP America!! Responding to islamic terrorists by being "politically correct" instead of confronting them via multi media, and via our own politicians, only contributes to their bolder and more aggressive evil behaviors. Wake Up America before it's too late. 2. When it's not good for women, it's not good for their societies. And this is also true for their religions. Please check out the following books: a. "A God Who Hates" by Dr. Wafa Sultan, a muslim woman b. "The Trouble with Islam Today", by Irshad Manji, a muslim woman c. "Inside the Kingdom" by Carmen Bin Ladin, a sister in law of Osama bin Ladin d. The 3 Princess books by Jean Sasson e. "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson f. "Zeitoun" by Dave Eggers g. "Controlling People: how to recognize, understand, and deal with people who try to control you" by Patricia Evans. Controlling people can be individuals, religious and non-religious groups, and even nations. And, they all have one thing in common: they are put together backwards.

(24) Wassim Muna, January 2, 2007 10:05 PM

Quite Muslims insulting Islam?

Your last paragraph suggests that the Muslims who don't speak up to correct the radicals are thereby insulting Islam by failing to defend its "proper" interpretation against its errosive elements. I'm not convinced that this is a reasonable expectation to have of your average Muslim individual. The individual risks a lot by speaking out, and gains close to nothing. I suggest we leave individuals to make their own mistakes and suffer the consequences accordingly. A mistake in interpreting an ideology should be just as harmful as a mistake in interpreting the road conditions while driving. If you think Jews are evil, then why shouldn't you suffer the reverberations of such thoughts. I am Muslim, but I think for myself, and my thoughts are with the innocent victims, not with saving the hooligans, or unraveling world politics. Thanks, but no thanks. I have a life to live. Besides, who's listening to me. I am nobody, and I prefer it that way. Trust in GOD alone. Great work Aish.com

(23) HowieSubnick, October 16, 2006 9:14 AM

Why Do We Dismiss Terrorism.......

Since the 9-11 terrorist attack, how many flags of the United States do you see flying from private vehicles, from homes or businesses? Now, how many flags do you see flying of the Los Angeles Lakers, Dodgers, USC, UCLA, New York Yankees, etc., etc.. The citizens of the United States have no idea that WE ARE AT WAR! Why do we take this so lightly? The majority of the citizens appear to be in la-la land. If we do not change our ways toward terrorism within the United States the shock of another attack will be devastating. If you do not believe there will be another attack you are sadly mistaken. Look what is happening with our borders. The only thing that hasn't crossed out borders is a battleship....give it time and they will figure a way to do it. I don't know what it will take to "cure" the citizens way of thinking but I highly suggest all of us be prepared. I suggest that no matter how small something may seem to you that catches your attention YOU MUST CALL THE AUTHORITIES! This is what they get paid for! Let them make the decision as to what crime may have been or is going to be committed. Stay watchful and stay safe. There are terrorist cells all over the U.S.. This is not to scare anyone....it is to bring you back to reality.

(22) DennisCast, October 13, 2006 3:24 AM

where are the soothsayers?

where are the soothsayers crying disporportionality?In the context the wide spread violence is un-called for.Theese people are only looking for excuses for murder!

(21) Anonymous, October 5, 2006 5:57 PM

Islam - Double Standard

Jeff Jacoby is right when he says Islam has double standards. They say horrendous things about Jews and all other religions and their leaders, they kill innocent people and expect no retalliaton, yet they kill some more (i.e. that poor nun) if someone says something about their religion. They want world domination, yet we try to reason with them by being politically correct. Something is wrong here.

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