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Thursday, January 8, 2015


The cancer of Islamic extremism will not be excised by military action. Nor will it be wiped out by political repression. Nor will it be cured by the words of pundits and policymakers in the West. The cure for this cancer must come from within the affected body: the worldwide community of Muslims. In the wake of the tragic attack on Charlie Hebdo, some Muslim leaders have expressed condolences for the victims and denounced the perpetrators, but not one, to my knowledge, has stood up and made the indignant, fiery, and morally persuasive speech that has long since been called for. The world is waiting for words like these from Islamic clerics and scholars:

Brothers and Sisters, a terrible crime has taken place in Paris. We must offer our condolences for the  twelve people murdered in the name of Allah. But the ultimate victims are the hundreds of millions of Muslims all over the world whose religion has been betrayed and besmirched, time and again, by the acts of criminals and terrorists. How many times have we reacted to such attacks with tacit approval? How many times have we protested that we're not responsible for the works of a few extremists? How many times has our main concern been to shield ourselves from Islamophobic reactions to the obscene acts committed in our name? Brothers and sisters, it is time to put the blame where it belongs: in the poisoned hearts and minds of those who have hijacked and violated our most sacred principles. These outrages will continue until we ourselves rise up and drive these criminals from our midst. We must join together and make our voices heard, loud and clear: you who maim and murder in the name of Allah are not our brothers, you are our enemies. You have no place in our community, no place in our mosques, and certainly no place in Paradise. We will ostracize you and renounce you, the true and most dangerous of infidels. 

If such words were repeated in mosques, prayer halls, and schools throughout Muslim society, perhaps one day the extremist cancer would wither and die. Until then, Islam and terrorism will be linked, fairly or unfairly, in the minds of the rest of the world.

1 comment:

  1. You' re absolutely right. Les Français qui se frappent la poitrine en répetant, c'est notre faute, c'est notre très grande faute, nous n'avons pas assez intégré la jeunesse musulmanne, pas assez offert de perspectives etc etc se livrent surtout à leur sport favoris: le dénigrement de leur pays. Ils se trompent de combat, mais où se trouve le "bon combat"? Difficile de répondre. PA