Along the Tracks

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

More from the ‘religion of peace’

What papers does this guy read? Anytime an abortion doctor is shot, headlines scream “Christian fundamentalist guns down doctor.” And - assuming the person who shoots is actually a Christian fundamentalist - the media is perfectly correct in doing so. The motive behind a crime is a key part of the story. If that motive is based on religious belief, people have a right to know that.

Ebrahim Moosa, the author of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution piece, asks why Muslims need to “apologize” when Muslims kill us. Note to Ebrahim: Nobody is asking you or any other Muslim to apologize; we know you didn’t do the killing and maiming and bombing, and we don’t blame you for it. But what we do expect you to do is use your influence within your own community by speaking out against the use of Islam as a defense for barbarity.

When an abortion provider is shot, fifty microphones appear before the faces of Jerry Falwell and Ralph Reed and Pat Robertson. What do they say? That killing - all killing - is sinful and an abomination; and that no cause, no matter how well founded in Christian beliefs, justifies cold-blooded murder.

How many people have been wounded or killed by anti-abortion nuts? A couple dozen, maybe. And Christian fundamentalists and their leaders have been forced to respond to every one - rightly so. By my count, Islamic leaders need to face the same questions a couple thousand more times, and keep facing them with every new atrocity.

The ‘hijacked religion’ fallacy

President Bush, way back in the hours after the September 11 attacks, decided to accept a false premise in an effort to avoid stirring anti-Muslim sentiment: The terrorists and their masters had “hijacked” a noble, peaceful faith. Look at what the leaders in the Muslim world say - about infidels, about Jews, about America - and you can see this “hijack” theory is simply not true. Or, maybe a better way to put it, the theory is too restrictive in defining who has “hijacked” Islam. As I write in my upcoming Leader column, the real “hijackers” are the Wahabbist imams and radical Shi’a clerics in Iran and people like hate-monger Louis Farrakhan. The terrorists and their sympathizers are merely the enforcers keeping the passengers - the majority of Muslims - in their seats while they fly to destruction.

It will take a passenger revolt, a la Flight 93, to overcome the religion’s hijackers and put Islam back on a safe trajectory, true to its internal values and history.

Mr. Moosa, it’s high time for you and fellow members of your faith to answer the call, “Let’s roll.”

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