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Something just does not smell right about this. The sniper just leaves a 'tip' which ultimately leads the police to him, as he knew it would? I've thought that whoever it is would have to be sociopathic to commit such crimes, so maybe what was left of his conscience forced him to 'get himself caught.' I can only pray that this is indeed the case, and that the new turn of events is not simply smoke and mirrors.

Of course the fact that this guy is a Muslim convert presents those of us who are Muslim with ever more challenges in convincing others that such acts are completely outside the fold of Islam. Sigh...

e
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As I understand it, the arrest came not from a tip but from standard detective work.
Apparently there was a shooting in Alabama that was linked to John Mohammed (fingerprints on a note) and the trail then led to Virginia and today's arrests.

CF
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"Of course the fact that this guy is a Muslim convert presents those of us who are Muslim with ever more challenges in convincing others that such acts are completely outside the fold of Islam. Sigh"

Yes, but obviously not outside the fold of radical Islam!

I think it is the duty of moderate muslims to look around their communities and try hard to detect sleepers amongst them.
This would be good for the society and for the muslim community members.

If the radical muslim groups continue as they have done up to now, soon every muslim will be suspect.
This is certainly not the outcome responsible muslim communities are looking for.

Ursula
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I think it is the duty of moderate muslims to look around their communities and try hard to detect sleepers amongst them

================

What do you want me (us) to say? Of every Muslim I know, I know none who I believe would do anything to harm anyone else. Would it make everyone feel better if we just randomly reported people we simply don't like? Or maybe only the ones who look funny? The truth of the matter is that these guys don't exactly announce themselves. They don't stand up in the masjid and say 'I'm going to commit such and such terrorist act. Anyone want to help me?'

But have no fear...the government probably already has planted spies in every masjid, so if anyone does this they will know right away.

What you, and everyone else needs to understand, is that it is not as simple as 'being vigilant.' Muslims 'being vigilant' would not have prevented 9/11...since those who would have let the authorities know didn't know a thing.

e

(I will report anyone I come across who I have reason to suspect might be up to no good, but then they already know that, so they'll make sure I (and others like me) don't find out.)
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Of course the fact that this guy is a Muslim convert presents those of us who are Muslim with ever more challenges in convincing others that such acts are completely outside the fold of Islam. Sigh...

FWIW, I think most of us "infidels" inderstand this completely.

-Bruce
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What do you want me (us) to say?

I want you to denounce the Saudi radicalization campain and its representatives in the US who are billed as representative of Islam. Do you do this in your community?

-Bruce
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Do you do this in your community?

==============

Yes.

e
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Do you do this in your community?

Yes.


Thanks. Why do you think there is no prominent Muslim movement against the extremists?

-Bruce
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Why do you think there is no prominent Muslim movement against the extremists?

======================

It isn't that one does not exist, it is just that the mainstream press is not interested in coming to the masaajid where my father-in-law speaks, denouncing the radical wahaabi extremists who have hijacked our religion. It is not interested in reporting on the works of Khaled Abou El Fadel, who rips apart the radical wahabbi views one by one in his books. It is not interested in articles like this:

http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/2002sept_comments.php?id=112_0_14_60_C

It is true that Abrahamic religions teach that God is Just and that the implementation of justice is part of God's purposes for human societies. Muslims, in general, believe that God's sacred law, the Sharia, provides the scales of justice for Muslim polity. But who are these people who arrogate the right to define the parameters of divine justice, and inflict destruction on human society in the name of the Sharia? I am wondering how can God's religion become a source of terror and meaningless destruction? Did God send humans on earth to destroy one another in His name? Or, did He send them to live in peace and harmony?

I continued to search for the religious sources of terrorism, if there were any, available to the extremists in the scriptures or in the tradition ascribed to the Prophet (pbuh). As I searched, I became aware that the term jihad, which is commonly used by these terrorists to legitimize their criminality, does not appear in the meaning of "holy war against the infidels" at all. In fact, terrorism, in any form, does not qualify as anything more than a cowardly act and an expression of rejection of God's blessing of life. To be sure, the term "jihad" in the lexicon of these murderers does not appear in more than a contrived meaning to cover up the horror of their satanic behavior.

But this tone of false religiosity and misappropriation of religious teachings was not limited to these murderers. I was deeply troubled as I surfed the cyberspace and read some of the morally bankrupt comments about the tragedy circulated by self-righteous Muslim preachers and teachers and their lack of outrage in condemning terrorism in uncertain terms. Almost every other Muslim leader or preacher was trying to provide an answer to: "Why do Muslims hate America?" The question manifested a distorted way of thinking about Islamic ethics of interpersonal relationships. No attempt was spared to rationalize the horrendous act by justifying it either in political terms as the crisis connected with American foreign policy in the Middle East, or in religious terms as God's punishment for the arrogance of Americans. Were not these same people arrogant in attributing the event to some far-fetched conspiracy? Such a defensive reflex of their thought was rooted in their lack of understanding of their ethical responsibility in the face of terrorism in the name of Islam. I was amazed at the arrogance of these Muslims, which allowed them to use God's name and remembrance as a tool to destroy human lives and property. What kind of God do they believe in? I kept on asking over and over again.


There are some other great articles at that site: http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/2002sept.php

The next logical question is whether or not these individuals are impacting the broad Muslim population. Sadly, I must admit that the progress is slow. The Saudis have been exporting their brand of Islam for many years now, and it is appealing to many people. What they want is an Islam which is black and white. Where good and evil, halal (permissible) and haram (forbidden) are easily defined. They do not realize this is not how Islam truly is, and that in order to get this, one has to be an extremist and have a myopic view of the religion. In most cases this simply creates intolerant individuals, who still in their heart of hearts are good people and would never harm another soul. Unfortunately, the far end of that spectrum breeds extremist elements, some of whom are terrorists.

The brainwashing has gone on for a long time. Those who are attempting to counteract it are often branded heretics, but there is a fast growing segment of the Muslim population who are waking up to the fact that these 'heretics' are not that at all. These people have been engaging in this work long before 9/11, but one of the good things that has happened after that day is that it has been a 'wake up call' to the entire Muslim community. It has made even the common person more aware that something is gravely wrong if such murderous individuals can be coming from our ranks. So we continue our work on an individual level, and also on a community level. This goes completely unnoticed by almost everyone else, as it is not 'newsworthy' by CNN's standards.

e
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http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=17979289


Just in case that post I linked gets pulled...

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. -- Some profiling experts are convinced that the roving sniper who has terrorized my neighborhood and surrounding communities is a white male.

-- Dr. Michael Welner, a forensic psychiatrist at New York University Medical Center, described the shooter as "white, male, single, 20s-30s . . . (with a) longtime fascination with hunting and shooting."


http://www.townhall.com/columnists/michellemalkin/mm20021011.shtml


Copyright is copyright, after all.
; )
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I think it is the duty of moderate muslims to look around their communities and try hard to detect sleepers amongst them.

Likewise it is the duty of moderate Catholics to report members of their community supporting the Catholics in Northern Ireland, and

the duty of moderate Protestants to report members of their community who are members of the KKK, etc, etc, etc.

Either you tolerate terrorism and therefore are implictly supporting it or you don't and work to prevent its continuance.
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exwa added to your Favorite Fools list.

Thank you so much for that reply. You're right about the media. They should be all over this story. Be that as it may, I wonder what we should be doing. Perhaps some kind of global Muslim conference on Islamist terror would be a good thing. After all, it's at least as important as global warming. :)

-Bruce
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Either you tolerate terrorism and therefore are implictly supporting it or you don't and work to prevent its continuance.

Stop being so simplistic. :)

-Bruce
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"What do you want me (us) to say? Of every Muslim I know, I know none who I believe would do anything to harm anyone else. Would it make everyone feel better if we just randomly reported people we simply don't like? Or maybe only the ones who look funny? The truth of the matter is that these guys don't exactly announce themselves. They don't stand up in the masjid and say 'I'm going to commit such and such terrorist act. Anyone want to help me?' "

exwa,

reporting "funny" looking people or reporting randomly is definitely not what I was speaking about.
This should never be done.
But when your father-in-law speaks at your mosque, he probably knows all community members.
It is true that ill-minded people do not announce. But often they speak with family or neighbors or friends.
It is always up to the individual to make a judgement.

I want to mention a few things I find always very disturbing:

What I do not like at all, is being called "infidel" by muslims.

We are catholics, protestants, hindus, buddhists etc.
Most people who are not muslims believe in someone, in general called GOD.
Despite this fact, you call us "infidels".

Moderate muslims do not protest enough against wahabism, against radical islam depriving woman of all rights.

I cannot remember having heard any protest from moderates during the last years against the evil rule of the Taliban.
I have not heard of protest against the way of wahabism treats woman (remember the poor little schoolgirls who had to die in SA half a year ago?)
And where is the protest against the strange ways of nigerian muslims treating woman so badly?

We have a friend from SA who used to visit us. He used to say, that Islam is a safe way of controlling and oppressing large populations consisting of mainly hot blooded men.

You must know that I have travelled large parts of the world.
I visited many muslim countries.
The worst treatment I ever got as a woman (despite the presence of my husband and despite being dressed appropiately always)) was what happened to me in Kashmir.
I do not want to repeat it here, but believe me, I was disgusted.

Most of us complain often about media bias. It is real.
But there are quite a few organizations in the US going against it and you can join one. They do put pressure on tv-channels and often succeed.

Ursula






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Despite this fact, you call us "infidels".

=============

I have never called anyone an 'infidel.' I also remind those I know that calling anyone a 'disbeliever' (aka infidel) is not their right, as God is the judge of a person's belief, not us.

"Moderate muslims do not protest enough against wahabism, against radical islam depriving woman of all rights.

They do. They do it all the time. You just don't know about it. Why don't you come visit our masjid here on Sunday when we take on a big wahabbi guy who inisists that women's voices not be heard in the masjid (which is ENTIRELY untrue...and we will show him exactly why (God willing)...although it may not change his mind just the same).

"I cannot remember having heard any protest from moderates during the last years against the evil rule of the Taliban."

I guess you missed the newsletter I put out 4 years ago bringing the atrocities of the Taliban to the atttention of other Muslims. This at a time when most Americans could not have cared less. A small step on a local level...

What is true is that there is not enough protest against these things from the Muslims. Many people simply do not want to rock the boat. Many, if not most, people are sheep. I do believe that the tide will shift in America amongst the Muslims. What will happen overseas I do not know. What happens here is of more importance to me.

What is so important to understand is that these radical views are not representative of the teachings of the Qur'an, or of the example of Muhammad (sas). In the case of oppression of women, they are (I believe) and extension of the desire of (some) men to abuse women that we see across religions and cultures. [See my post on the treatment of Vietnamese women on the Islam board] In the case of hatred and intolerance of anyone not Muslim, that I believe stems from fear of the unknown, and also of a desire to believe one has the 'only' path to truth. It almost seems an insecurity complex. It is as if they can only feel secure in their own beliefs if they deamonize everyone else.

And to your friend who said: "...Islam is a safe way of controlling and oppressing large populations consisting of mainly hot blooded men." I adamently disagree. Wahabbi Islam may fit this description, but the Islam I believe is true does not at all.

e





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"I have never called anyone an 'infidel."

I belive you, but I did not mean you personally.

The Chechens on Al-Jazeera today spoke about infidels. The muslims I hear here in Germany speak of infidels.
The "sheik of Cologne" and his gang (he is in jail for ordering the murder of a competing guy in Hamburg, and soon will be expelled to Turkey) who wanted to establish a caliphat in Germany, calls us infidels.
This has to stop because it poisons the atmosphere all over the world.

The mosques her in Germany, 2 weeks ago had "open door".

Just as muslims do not visit our churches, we do not visit the mosques.

Islamic countries (mostly) do not allow the construction of churches or temples.
WE, the West, allow everybody to practice a religion of choice. We allow muslims to have their mosques in our countries.

So, WHO is practizing intolerance?

When I visit muslim countries, I cover myself and observe appropiate behaviour.
When muslims come to western countries, they often disregard our culture and go on living like they did at home. This brings many in conflict with our laws.

exwa, I know a lot about your religion since I belong to a small organisation fighting against the circumvision of woman.
This is an issue not of western countries but of muslim and african countries (mostly islamic).

I find it encouraging that you might be of another breed and willing to go for a moderate form of Islam.
I wish you luck.

Ursula




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Something just does not smell right about this. The sniper just leaves a 'tip' which ultimately leads the police to him, as he knew it would? I've thought that whoever it is would have to be sociopathic to commit such crimes, so maybe what was left of his conscience forced him to 'get himself caught.'

Nah. It's a different problem.

What good does it do you to be the famous serial killer, if nobody knows who you are?
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Yes, but obviously not outside the fold of radical Islam!

It is unfortunate, but what they are doing (the radicals) speaks so loudly we can't hear what you (the moderates) are saying.
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Of course the fact that this guy is a Muslim convert presents those of us who are Muslim with ever more challenges in convincing others that such acts are completely outside the fold of Islam. Sigh...

FWIW, I think most of us "infidels" inderstand this completely.
**********


What us "infidels" don't understand is why Muslims in general, and American Muslims in particular, do not publicly and loudly decry the perversion of their allegedly peaceful religion. What we see and hear from the Islamic community is mute, passive, silence that amounts, at best, to acceptance of heinous acts and, at worst, to an endorsement of those acts. It is not enough for you to say words to the effect of “don't blame me for what that guy did”. It is necessary for your community to emphatically condemn the criminal acts.

As an American who is paying attention, I see that the goal of Islam is universally to take power and impose its strictures on society. That is not the damning statement that one might think it is on first blush. Many segments of our society have similar goals – witness the pro-abortion vs. pro-life argument, or the pro-gun vs. anti-gun argument. In so far as this is a political process, American society makes plenty of room for this kind of exchange. The difference between Islam and Militant Islam is this: Moslems who accept the basics of American civilization, including the Constitution, and who attempt to achieve their political objectives by working within the constitutionally established political system are pretty much like any other citizen; no matter how much I may disagree with them, they have the right to promote their beliefs, and I am willing to stand behind their right to do so. Moslems who do not work within the constitutionally established political system, but who choose instead to subvert that system through criminal acts and violence, are militants. I repudiate them, I utterly reject them, and I will defend my society from them with whatever moral and ethical means is necessary to successfully execute that defense.

It dismays me no end that militant Islam overwhelmingly dominates Muslim discourse here in America. Where are the non-militant voices? Why are they silent?

It further dismays me that the Muslim discourse in America never seems to acknowledge a separation of Church and state – it seems to me that, from both the Middle-eastern Islamic and the militant American Islamic perspective, Church and state are inseparable, i.e.: there is no secular realm in an Islamic state. Thus, one must conclude that, to a Moslem, if religion and politics are one, and there can be no room for diversity of political opinion in an Islamic society, then the Constitution of the United States is anathema, since it establishes a framework wherein a citizen may freely exercise his will outside of the strictures of Islam.

In America, religious society is separate from secular society; religion is personal, private, and is not a cultural phenomenon. Churches don't pass or enforce secular law and the State doesn't dictate religious belief or action (don't confuse religion and morals here). Though society has sometimes temporarily lost sight of this concept (witness the 19th century treatment of Mormons), in America it is generally true that Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Mormons, Shintos, Buddhists, Atheists, Non-theists, Agnostics, Theists, Poly-theists, Wiccans, Moslems, Moonies, Hindus, et al and etc. and etc. and etc. ad infinitum, all fit under the big tent, without limit, so long as each respects the other. While most folks are glad to share their religion with anyone who expresses an interest, they generally don't give a damn what religion the other guy practices or doesn't practice. As a people, we're willing to be as tolerant of all of these religions as we are of any of them. But if some segment of one of them, in this case militant Islam, keeps crapping under our tent, and the remainder of that religion, in this case non-militant Islam, continues to do nothing to either police itself or to clearly align itself with the offended portion of society, then you can bet that that religion as a whole is eventually going to get kicked out of the tent.

Tom
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It is not enough for you [mainstream Muslims] to say words to the effect of “don't blame me for what that guy did”. It is necessary for your community to emphatically condemn the criminal acts.

It's more than that. Mainstream Muslims must clearly choose sides and come down on the side of tolerance. People afraid of radicalizing Islam by confronting it have it all wrong. By clearly going after the Islamists, we will move the moderates to our side.

-Bruce
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It is not enough for you to say words to the effect of “don't blame me for what that guy did”. It is necessary for your community to emphatically condemn the criminal acts.

=========================

First of all, there are Muslims who publicly condemn these acts. I've already posted concerning this, and commented that the major media sources are not the least bit interested. What exactly do you suggest I, an 'average' American Muslim, not a big name in the community, do? Besides post my condemnations on this message board that is. You know what...I'll go ahead and email CNN with my views. You know what else? They will not give them the time of day. So every other American will think that I have said nothing, and am somehow 'endorsing' the act as such, which could not be further from the truth.

"I see that the goal of Islam is universally to take power and impose its strictures on society."

This may be the goal of a very small minority of the Muslim population, but I assure you that it is NOT the goal of the majority in any way.

"It dismays me no end that militant Islam overwhelmingly dominates Muslim discourse here in America."

That would be in part because militant Islam is what the media is interested in reporting on.

"Thus, one must conclude that, to a Moslem, if religion and politics are one, and there can be no room for diversity of political opinion in an Islamic society, then the Constitution of the United States is anathema, since it establishes a framework wherein a citizen may freely exercise his will outside of the strictures of Islam."

Please do not generalize. This is not an Islamic state. Every Muslim knows that this is not an Islamic state, and if they choose to live here, then they are duty bound BY THEIR RELIGION to follow the laws of the land. If they don't like the laws of the land then they need to go somewhere else. The majority of the Muslims in America have no desire whatsoever to turn America into an Islamic state.

"But if some segment of one of them, in this case militant Islam, keeps crapping under our tent, and the remainder of that religion, in this case non-militant Islam, continues to do nothing to either police itself or to clearly align itself with the offended portion of society, then you can bet that that religion as a whole is eventually going to get kicked out of the tent."

I find this statement to be absolutely and utterly intolerable. Come to my house and tell me that to my face. Tell me that my condemnations, wherever I may spread them, are insufficient. Tell me that the fact that I have not 'turned anyone in' is evidence of my 'support' for the terrorists. Tell me that these facts make me guilty by association, and that I darn well better start my own paper (with money I do not have), and turn an innocent person in 'just in case,' so that I can PROVE my innocence. Tell me that if I don't do whatever it is you want me to do that I will get kicked out of YOUR tent.

You know what? This is my tent too.

e





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You know what? This is my tent too.

Well done, exwa. You're doing good.

BTW, I'm interested in your comments on this thread:

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=18051334

What is your opinion on the state of black Muslimdom in America?

-Bruce
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What is your opinion on the state of black Muslimdom in America?

=========================

This is not something I have given a whole lot of thought lately. What I know of the Nation is from my reading of 'The Autobiography of Malcolm X.' The first Muslims I knew were followers of Warith Deen Muhammed. I found them to be excellent people. Many had been originally introduced to Islam through the Nation, and had become orthodox Muslims later on. I doubt their stated beliefs were altered by my presence, even if I was the only white person in the house ;) I am certain that none (or very close to none) of these people support the extremist fringe of the Muslims.

As far as the Nation goes, I honestly have no idea where the majority of their followers stand. I would hope that they have the sense to acknowledge that terrorism is completely unislamic. Asking if they are 'with us or against us' is overly simplified in my opinion. It implies that one cannot engage in any kind of dissent for fear of being put in the 'against us' camp. I have no problem with anyone who would like to work for change in a legal manner in this country. I have no problem with anyone who protests our governments policies. I do have a problem with individuals, or organizations, who would force THEIR will down everyone else's throats through whatever means necessary. Does the Nation as an organization have this last intention? That I do not know. I would hope that any member with a conscience would report any illegal activities to the authorities.

e
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Asking if they are 'with us or against us' is overly simplified in my opinion. It implies that one cannot engage in any kind of dissent for fear of being put in the 'against us' camp.

I don't think it implies this at all. I welcome dissent within the "with us" camp.

I do have a problem with individuals, or organizations, who would force THEIR will down everyone else's throats through whatever means necessary. Does the Nation as an organization have this last intention? That I do not know. I would hope that any member with a conscience would report any illegal activities to the authorities.

I'd say they are evidence of our race problems, making only a small contribution to the Islamism problem. They're a problem in the same way as the NAACP is a problem.

-Bruce
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"They're a problem in the same way as the NAACP is a problem."

Bruce, without people like you, the NAACP would have never came into existence. One problem usually creates another problem and one problem can not resolve the other problem.
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I find this statement to be absolutely and utterly intolerable.
**********


What I find "absolutely and utterly intolerable" is thousands of dead citizens murdered by foreign militant Moslems, militant American Moslems shooting citizens, militant Moslems in other nations committing other acts of unspeakable barbarity (murder of Jewish reporter video taped for public dissemination in Pakistan, Christian missionaries held hostage and murdered in Philippines, hundreds held hostage in Moscow as Arabic television broadcasts support for the Moslems behind the act, hundreds bombed to death in Bali, and on and on and on), and relative silence on the heinous nature of these offenses coming from the American Islamic community.

Don't give me your outrageous moral indignation at my assertion that you are not doing enough. Give me action to align your community with the rest of our society. Militant Islam has irreparably harmed us. If your community of faith is not aligned with militant Islam, then as a community you must publicly and decisively repudiate militant Islam and clearly differentiate your community from militant Islam. The fact is that, as a community, you have not done that well or effectively. Thus, you remain aligned with that segment that you assert is not representative of your faith.

Read my post again - check out the part where I said: Moslems who accept the basics of American civilization, including the Constitution, and who attempt to achieve their political objectives by working within the constitutionally established political system are pretty much like any other citizen; no matter how much I may disagree with them, they have the right to promote their beliefs, and I am willing to stand behind their right to do so. Moslems who do not work within the constitutionally established political system, but who choose instead to subvert that system through criminal acts and violence, are militants. I repudiate them, I utterly reject them, and I will defend my society from them with whatever moral and ethical means is necessary to successfully execute that defense.

You are offended because I warn that if your peaceable segment of Islam does not differentiate itself from militant Islam, you will suffer the same fate as militant Islam.

It's a cop out for you to blame CNN for not getting the word out that Islam is not evil. From what I see, the exact opposite is true. CNN, ABC, CBS, Reuters, et al, are bending over backwards in an attempt to be politically correct and not point the finger of guilt at Islam. Check out the editorial titled Omission Journalism on page A17 of the Monday, 18 Oct '02, IBD. The kind of coverage described there typifies the kid glove treatment that the press gives to Islam. It appears to me that the press would jump at an opportunity to present the politically correct message that Moslems aren't inherently bad guys. If you have such a message that isn't getting out, it isn't the media's fault.

Are you trying to tell me that the American Islamic community is so fractured that you cannot manage to organize pro-American activism worthy of press coverage? That the media will not respond to press releases and invitations to press conferences? That newspaper editors and talk radio hosts all across America are united in their refusal to publish your letters or answer your calls (the antecedent of the pronoun “you” here refers to the entire non-militant American Islamic community)? You can't either get free time or even buy some time on local access cable stations to publicize your pro-America and anti-militant Islamic views? That you cannot so much as get together a letter writing campaign to local media and government officials?

I don't buy it. Angry mothers with political axes to grind and no budget whatsoever have been far more effective at getting their positions in front of the public than the pro-American Islamic community has been – which makes the rest of America wonder if there really is such a thing as a pro-American Islamic community. The silence is deafening.

If, in fact, you are correct and militancy is not dominant in American Moslem congregations, then your are failing miserably to make the rest of America aware, and you are not helping to identify who the militants are (one might reasonably assume that they must be the ones who are not publicly announcing themselves to be pro-American).

You ask, rhetorically, if you should turn in someone in your congregation whose looks you don't like, implying that the rest of America isn't seeking justice, but really only wants a pound of Moslem flesh, any Moslem flesh, regardless of guilt or innocence, to satisfy an unrighteous lust for vengeance. Such rhetoric is offensive and belittles my desire for real justice. I respond that my anger is righteous, and I want the guilty to encounter justice. It is not unreasonable to expect that you, too, should want this if you are, in fact, not a militant Moslem.

You imply that you, personally, don't know any militants. Gosh, does that mean they really aren't out there? Does that absolve you and others in your congregation of any duty, as peaceful, patriotic, American citizens, to work diligently to purge militancy from the greater community of your faith and to let the rest of America know about it? I think not.

It's good that you, personally, are writing on this bulletin board, and I tell you frankly that I appreciate exposure to your viewpoint. But I must also ask, what else are you doing that will help your peaceful Islamic community purge itself of extremists, and what are you doing to let the rest of American society know you are actively on their side? I do not tell you this to attack you. I tell you this as a friend, the true friend who will point out your faults to you, not to belittle you, but because he wants to help you to become better.


Come to my house and tell me that to my face. Tell me that my condemnations, wherever I may spread them, are insufficient.
**********


Gee, that sounds like a veiled threat. Do you expect me to fear you? Think about it. I suggest that you and the rest of your allegedly peaceful pro-American Islamic community would be better served by humility at this time than by militancy.

I will be happy to come to your house, to your mosque, to anyplace you would like to meet. I will be happy to express my views to you, to your family, to your neighbors, to the members of your congregation. I have nothing to hide or to be ashamed of, and I have every reason based on sound moral, ethical, and patriotic foundations, to persuade you and others to speak out and take action to end the assault of militant Islam on American society.

Yes, it's your tent, too. But it's your dog that's crapping in it, not mine. Yes, I am telling you that you, as a community, aren't doing enough to deal with the problem, consequently you are part of the problem. If that makes you angry then maybe it's because it's true. As bcairns said: Mainstream Muslims must clearly choose sides and come down on the side of tolerance.

You, as a religious community, desperately need to get your act together on this issue.

Tom
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It isn't that one does not exist, it is just that the mainstream press is not interested in coming to the masaajid where my father-in-law speaks, denouncing the radical wahaabi extremists who have hijacked our religion. It is not interested in reporting on the works of Khaled Abou El Fadel, who rips apart the radical wahabbi views one by one in his books. It is not interested in articles like this:

I know a lot of muslims, some of them quite well. Some people on this board might remember that last spring my family and I were invited to a mosque to participate in a celebration of a muslim religious milestone for one of their children. I was somewhat conflicted about going, and asked for opinions here.

Well, we did go. In fact, it was a substantially religious ceremony, attended by a large number of non-muslims, and the mullah made a long speech about Islam and what Islam stood for.

Now, let me make it abundantly clear that I like these people. I work with several muslim children daily (also jews, hindus, buddhists, and christians) and I have to tell you I have a great deal of respect for those kids - they are simply great. In fact, as I write this, I have just returned from chaperoning a group of them (about half of them muslims)while they were trick or treating.

So I went to their mosque. I lent a sympathetic ear. I let the mullah tell me about Islam. This he did. It actually bordered on proseltyzing. But I noted that not once - not one single time - did he repudiate the acts of 9/11 or the other acts of muslim terrorism.

I most particularly did note that. I don't hold it against any of my kids, or their parents, because I don't consider them to be terrorists and I believe that the work I and others are doing with the kids is one of the best ways to eliminate the fundamentalism that seems to lead to terrorist behavior in that religion.

I'm not the press. I was there because I was asked to attend. This was their chance to repudiate before a sympathetic audience. They didn't. They. Didn't.
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I want the guilty to encounter justice

=========================

As do I. However, I honestly do not know who the 'potentially' guilty are. The people I know are not terrorists of any kind, and I would not begin to know where to find any who might exist in my vicinity.

Is that hard to believe?

As far as the rest of your response goes, I do in part agree with you. I agree that the Muslims have not been organized, or forceful enough in their condemnations of the acts of terrorism which have occurred recently and in the past. There have been some strong condemnations, but they have received little to no press. There do need to be more.

So let me explain my situation to you and how I am working to 'purge militancy' on any level from the circles I move in. This does not involve arranging press conferences, but might in the near future involve articles submitted to the local paper. I have 5 kids ages 8 and under. The last one is only 6 months old, and I am drowning in the work of feeding, clothing, paying bills, working on the side at the computer, and so on. I work hard to teach my children what our beliefs are, and the importance of respecting the beliefs of others. I work hard to instill in them the knowledge that the acts of Muslims on 9/11 were not at all the kind of thing Muslims should be doing, and why that is so. I teach a Sunday school class of 12 or so other kids, and I have sent that message to them. The message of tolerance, of kindness to others, of how one should behave toward others be they Muslim or not. I have told them (and will tell them again tomorrow) that the actions of terrorists who call themselves Muslims can NEVER be justified through Islam. I do this same work with the groups of women I meet with, and with other larger groups. When they toss out this or that conspiracy theory about how Muslims didn't commit the acts of 9/11, I tell them that even if one day we find these theories to be true (highly unlikely), that there were Muslims who applauded the actions of the hijackers (none that I know...only what I heard on the news), and that we MUST deal with the origins of this type of extremism within our community.

This is my work within my community. It is the planting of seeds wherever I may, especially in the minds of the young people. To me, it is FAR more important than any other work I might do. It will not make it to CNNs website, it will probably not make it to the local paper, but it is critical, and it is my effort to combat intolerance from within.

I do not expect you to fear me. What I expect is that if you were to meet me and my family, you would come away with a very different view of what I 'should' be doing. You would understand that we, and so many like us, are simple people who only want to live our lives peacefully. It is in no way my 'fault' that some sociopathic individuals have decided to murder in the name of Islam, and there is little to nothing I can do to stop those bent on such acts.

e
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This was their chance to repudiate before a sympathetic audience. They didn't. They. Didn't.

==============================

How far do we take this? Are Muslims now required every time they speak to both Muslim, non Muslim, and mixed audiences to speak against every act of terrorism committed by a Muslim? There were a great number of condemnations by prominent Muslim leaders in the wake of 9/11. What I am hearing on this board is that it isnt' enough, and I wonder if anything will be enough. If the statements come monthly, people will want them weekly. If they come weekly, they will want them daily. That is if they reach their breakfast table at all. If there are a group of 5 Muslims they hear from, they will want to hear from 10, or 20, or 30. They will want that EVERY time a Muslim speaks on any religious topic that they condemn the terrorists.

Is this reasonable? Is this a reasonable expectation of people who have done NOTHING WRONG?

We can do more, but I fear it will never be enough. Put yourself in my shoes for instance. Pretend you live in Egypt, and a group of fundamentalist Christians committed a terrorist attack against Muslims which killed a thousand people. Would you think it fair that you would be expected to repeatedly condemn this act, even though everyone knows that you had nothing to do with it? Would you think it fair for others to include you in the 'guilty by association' category? Surely you would speak out, surely you would try to do whatever work you could within your community to effect necessary changes. But after awhile you would start to wonder why you should be asked to continue and continue and continue to make statements about this or that thing which you had no part in. You would wonder why others could not understand that you are innocent of these crimes even if you aren't on tv every day proclaiming that innocence.

e
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How far do we take this? Are Muslims now required every time they speak to both Muslim, non Muslim, and mixed audiences to speak against every act of terrorism committed by a Muslim? There were a great number of condemnations by prominent Muslim leaders in the wake of 9/11

As the particular situation I described played out, the local muslim community was taking advantage of an opportunity to generate some grass roots PR. Now, as I have said, I have no particular problem with that.

But, given the desire to proselytize, or perhaps merely to inform, would it not seem reasonable to explicitly repudiate the particular event that led to the perceived need to engage in PR?

Is this reasonable? Is this a reasonable expectation of people who have done NOTHING WRONG?

There is clearly a problem in the global muslim community. This problem is rapidly leading to a situation where it will be at a minimum the U.S. against an assortment of muslim states, and at worst it will be the world against the muslims.

Those in the muslim community, therefore, must needs take sides. I do not believe it is an overstatement, or hyperbole, or posturing, to say "with us or against us." Our President has said so, and events in the world suggest that it must indeed be this way.

So, from the standpoint of reality and survival, it would behoove those muslims who wish to live peacefully to repudiate those who claim to be muslim and insist on murdering infidels.

Quite frankly, I worry about my kids. They are good kids. They have done nothing wrong. But they are muslim. So far, people in this country have displayed a great deal of understanding and are not blanket-condemning muslims for the actions of one segment. But it is not difficult to envision this changing. These kids are not white; they are mostly Paki or Indian in origin. Should it happen, they won't easily be able to hide or change their affiliation.

The muslim community around the world needs to make its case. It needs to repudiate the terrorists and expel them wherever it finds them. Literally, it is becoming "with us or against us." That is where we are headed. Inevitably, I think, given the nature of the threat.

Pretend you live in Egypt, and a group of fundamentalist Christians committed a terrorist attack against Muslims which killed a thousand people. Would you think it fair that you would be expected to repeatedly condemn this act, even though everyone knows that you had nothing to do with it? Would you think it fair for others to include you in the 'guilty by association' category? Surely you would speak out, surely you would try to do whatever work you could within your community to effect necessary changes. But after awhile you would start to wonder why you should be asked to continue and continue and continue to make statements about this or that thing which you had no part in. You would wonder why others could not understand that you are innocent of these crimes even if you aren't on tv every day proclaiming that innocence.

"Fair" has absolutely nothing to do with it. Nothing at all. The situation, in a more general sense, is a situation where a minority population has within it a sub-population that is dangerous. Those members of that minority who wish to live peacefully have no alternative but to repudiate their sub-population and expel it, over and over and over and over. There is no alternative, because the majority population feels threatened by them, and they need to make sure the fear is properly focused and does not become all-inclusive.

Whether or not this is fair is totally irrelevant. It is the reality.
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""Fair" has absolutely nothing to do with it. Nothing at all. The situation, in a more general sense, is a situation where a minority population has within it a sub-population that is dangerous. Those members of that minority who wish to live peacefully have no alternative but to repudiate their sub-population and expel it, over and over and over and over. There is no alternative, because the majority population feels threatened by them, and they need to make sure the fear is properly focused and does not become all-inclusive."

Yes, it's to bad that they are a "minority population." If they were a mjority population as the Christians were during WWII, they could turn a blind eye to the extermination of millions and suffer no repercussions from the minority.

Of course that doesn't answer the original question of why this "minority population" should do anything that a majority population would not be expected to do. The only reason to fear the majority is, because the majority, in this case, is bigoted. Yes, you are right, that is reality, but it takes courage and a good sense of self-worth not to bow down to this reality.
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What I am hearing on this board is that it isnt' enough, and I wonder if anything will be enough.

You yourself have said that moderate Muslims have not done enough. This is a good thing. Don't backslide.

-Bruce
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You yourself have said that moderate Muslims have not done enough. This is a good thing. Don't backslide.

==============

I'm just wondering where it ends. As for my part, I'll be working on a letter to the editor sometime in the next week or two (when I can catch my breath that is).

e
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I'm just wondering where it ends. As for my part, I'll be working on a letter to the editor sometime in the next week or two (when I can catch my breath that is).

Muslim opposition to the Islamists is not a formality. Y'all should be in it for the duration just as the rest of us are. You, personally, are doing your small part as am I.

-Bruce
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I'm wondering about the groupthink aspect of all this.

Is the average peace-loving, law-abiding Muslim any more or less responsible for the acts of Muslim criminals than the average, peace-loving, law-abiding Christian is responsible for the criminal acts of Christian criminals.

Maybe "responsible" is the wrong word. But why all the calls for "good Muslims" to denounce "bad Muslims" in these cases. Does anyone call for "good Christians" to publically denounce "bad Christians" and then imply if they don't do so loudly enough then they too are suspect? We don't typically require "good Christians" to prove their goodness. We take it as a given.
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Maybe "responsible" is the wrong word. But why all the calls for "good Muslims" to denounce "bad Muslims" in these cases.

Because good Muslims must not be seen as neutral in our conflict.

-Bruce
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Because good Muslims must not be seen as neutral in our conflict.

Of course not. It's the presumtion that they are neutral, or worse, that I'm questioning. Why presume peace-loving, law-abiding Muslims to be any more suspect than anyone else? Simply because they're Muslim?

It's not quite the same thing, but when Serbian Christians slaughter Muslims we don't demand public denunciations from Methodists and Quakers. When Christian radicals bomb abortion clinics, we don't point to the Pope's or Jerry Falwell's equivocating denunciations as evidence of widespread Christian tolerance of criminals and terrorists.
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Why presume peace-loving, law-abiding Muslims to be any more suspect than anyone else? Simply because they're Muslim?

I don't presume that. I see that they are thrust into the middle whether they want to be there or not.

-Bruce
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I don't presume that.

Good.

I see that they are thrust into the middle whether they want to be there or not.

I see that too. I'm questioning why they're being "thrust into the middle." Who's thrusting them?
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I see that they are thrust into the middle whether they want to be there or not.

I see that too. I'm questioning why they're being "thrust into the middle." Who's thrusting them?


Reality.
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I'm wondering about the groupthink aspect of all this.

Is the average peace-loving, law-abiding Muslim any more or less responsible for the acts of Muslim criminals than the average, peace-loving, law-abiding Christian is responsible for the criminal acts of Christian criminals.

Maybe "responsible" is the wrong word. But why all the calls for "good Muslims" to denounce "bad Muslims" in these cases. Does anyone call for "good Christians" to publically denounce "bad Christians" and then imply if they don't do so loudly enough then they too are suspect? We don't typically require "good Christians" to prove their goodness. We take it as a given.


In this country, at least, christians or christian-descended are a clear majority. Therefore, such breast beating serves no purpose.

In this nation, muslims are a small minority and are not well understood by the majority. Also at this time, muslims may be perceived as dangerous. It is therefore incumbent upon them to make sure the fear and anger is properly focused.

Right or wrong, fair or unfair, have nothing to do with it. The reality is that this is the situation.
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