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May 14, 2004
Better Late Than Never, I Suppose

In the current war on Islamofascism, we have been repeatedly warned by elites not to conflate the hooded terrorists who bomb and behead innocent civilians and the vast majority of peace-loving Muslims, who reject violent jihad in favor of internal, spiritual warfare. However, as many have noted, Islamic public-interest groups such as CAIR as well as Muslim communities have seemed much more focused on carping about anti-Islam sentiment in the US and how Americans have mistreated Muslims rather than the supposed hijacking of of their faith by genocidal maniacs. Almost three years after 9/11, it finally took the brutal imagery of an unarmed civilian having his head hacked off his body and proudly displayed to a video camera to get American Muslims off the dime:

Alarmed by resurgent anti-Muslim rhetoric in the aftermath of the beheading of an American in Iraq, U.S. Muslim leaders launched a new campaign Thursday to disassociate their faith from terrorism.

In Washington, the Council on American-Islamic Relations called on the nation's Muslims to sign an online petition to declare that terrorism betrays Islam and that American Muslims abhor it. In Los Angeles, Muslim leaders said that the beheading of American businessman Nicholas Berg would be condemned in as many as 50 mosques that are part of the Shura Council of Southern California. Berg was killed by a man identified Thursday by the CIA as Abu Musab Zarqawi, who is considered an ally of Osama bin Laden.

The Los Angeles-based Muslim Public Affairs Council said it was stepping up a months-long effort to gather Muslim leaders and members of Congress on the steps of the Capitol to denounce terrorism.

The Los Angeles Times quotes several Muslims as claiming the Nick Berg beheading as "un-Islamic", and the video "a stab in the heart of Islam." For once, at least according to the LA Times, we don't hear any lectures from Muslims about how we need to understand the Islamic rage from centuries of mistreatment; they have finally made an unequivocal rejection of terrorism. While their motivation seems more a response to some bad PR than a genuine emotional response -- the CAIR spokesman mentions radio talk-show challenges -- this new effort marks a step in the right direction for American Muslim organizations.

Too bad it took almost three years after the slaughter or 3,000 American civilians for them to come around.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 14, 2004 12:59 PM

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