Friday, July 08, 2005

London Terrorist Bombings and a Muslim Response

Lest there be any confusion, some Muslims are condemning the terrorist activities of those bitter little (and not so little) boys and girls who use their ethnic and religious identity to perpetuate outrages. Here is yesterday’s editorial from Ahmed Nassef on the website “Muslim Wake Up!” and I quote most of it as it is self-explanatory and important.

Mr. Nassef writes:

[Before Tony Blair knew who the group was he accused Muslim terrorists of the London bombings] the important thing is that Muslims are most likely to have done it. We all know it. The world knows it.

The days of hiding behind the Oklahoma bombing, when Muslims were first blamed only to be exonerated when homegrown extremists were arrested for the 1995 attack on the Oklahoma Federal Building, are long gone.

So bring on the condemnations! We have to do it, just so they don’t say later that we were silent. Press releases, press conferences—British Muslims, American Muslims, Canadian Muslims, Muslim governments. Even the Palestinian Islamist group HAMAS condemned the London bombings; "Targeting civilians in their transport means and lives is denounced and rejected," Moussa Abu Marzouk, the group’s political bureau deputy chief said.

It’s all relative, you see.

For HAMAS, killing British civilians is bad form, especially since the group has been holding talks with British government officials (for which they were recently rebuked by Al Qaeda’s Ayman Al-Zawahiri). Israeli civilians, on the other hand, are fair game.

It’s a matter of degrees. Just trust the executioner. He’ll do the right thing.

Two days ago, Abu Mus’ab Al-Zarqawi’s spiritual mentor, Sheik Abu-Mohammed al-Maqdisi , was on Al Jazeera, the Arab news network. He had good things to say about Al Zarqawi, but he thought that he may be overdoing it with his attacks on Iraqi Shi’is. At least don’t attack them in mosques, he said. Shi’is may be bad, but they’re not worth killing, especially not in mosques. Christians and Jews, on the other hand, well… it’s a war of liberation isn’t it?

You disagree with that? If you don’t think Zarqawi and his hoodlums should be the new rulers of Iraq, then you’re likely a collaborator, an agent of occupation, an apostate.

An apostate like Egypt’s ambassador to Iraq, Ihab Sherif; "The sharia court of al-Qaeda in Iraq has decided to hand over the apostate, the ambassador of Egypt which is allied to Jews and Christians, to the mujahideen to carry out the punishment of the apostate ... and to kill him," his captors declared yesterday before making good on their promise today. He is survived by a wife and two daughters.

Being allied to Jews and Christians is now a crime of apostasy to these guardians of the faith, who might have also declared the Prophet Muhammad an apostate for having sought the protection of a Christian king and for having signed an agreement with Jews.

But then the Prophet was not as pure as these people.

They kill. We condemn.

May God forgive us for what we have done to our religion of mercy and compassion.

(Ahmed Nassef is Editor-in-Chief of

Of course, no human community is free of outrages being perpetuated in the name of its principles of justice and fidelity whether they are oriented (as they are in all the great religions) towards allegiance to Divinity or towards the claims of justice not so oriented.

Alas, hatred and outrage is an equal opportunity employer. It will take another blog to spell out some of the reasons that Islamicism is doing what it is doing around the globe today. The editorial above shows, however, that there are voices that condemn such actions within the Muslim community and that is, on any reading, a sign of hope for it is on such beachheads, however small, that proper responses can be launched.

Iain T. Benson©