Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Muslim Commentator Speaks Out

Because it doesn't happen very often, it's news when a Muslim actually dares to point out some of the absurdities of Islamic behavior and the glaring differences between the words and the deeds not only of radical Islamists, but of the Muslim mainstream. On the website of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI, which you can link to from this blog) is a translation of an article by an Iraqi reformist columnist named 'Abd Al-Khaliq Hussein in which Mr Hussein attacks the behavior of Islamic radicals and holds up the Pope and the nations of western Europe as examples of religious tolerance. You can link directly to the article here:

This is a very significant article, well worth your time in reading. I don't know anything about Mr Hussein's background and the amount of authority his opinions carry with other Muslims, but when any Muslim has the courage to stand up and criticize the lunacy of radical - and even mainstream - Islamic behavior, it's worth listening to him. Mr Hussein paints a devastating picture of the glaring difference between Muslim protestations of tolerance and the reality of their behavior, using their own words and symbols to make his point.

Here's a very simple, yet telling example: in discussing the violent Muslim reactions to Pope Benedict's comments about Islam in a speech last September, Mr Hussein writes, "I don't know why these people - especially the Muslim Brotherhood - deny the role of the sword and violence in the spreading of Islam. Arab-Islamic history is full of wars and raids ... the logo of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has a picture of the Koran and two crossed swords, as is clearly seen in the following picture:
"We see under the sword hilts the slogan 'Make Ready,' which is the beginning of the Koranic verse [8:60]: 'Make ready for them whatever you can of force and horses of war with which to frighten Allah's enemies and yours.'" He goes on to write later in the article, "The Pope taught a hands-on lesson in rapprochement among religions, civilizations, and cultures. He also gave an inspiring hands-on lesson in religious tolerance when he visited the Blue Mosque in Istanbul...and prayed with Muslims while facing Mecca. ... This is religious tolerance, oh Muslims. Do you have sufficient courage and humility to do the same? ... When will Muslims be governed by rationality and wisdom, and by the essence of true Islam in the interpretation of religious texts in their historical context and in accordance with the currrent era, so as to live in peace with the world? Is anybody listening?"

This is a very good question. The entire Muslim world is spring-loaded to take offense at the least hint of criticism or perceived insult, but has no problem with heaping the most vile and repulsive slander on Christians and Jews. The Council on American-Islamic Relations loudly protests any perceived criticism of Islam or allegations of discrimination against Muslims in this country, but is utterly silent about the outrageous behavior of radical Islamists (you can check it out yourself at their website,

Is anybody listening?

Yes, someone is listening - but all the listening and all the efforts at tolerance are coming from the western nations, and from the Christians and Jews who are so loudly maligned by Muslims.

Perhaps there are more Muslims out there like Mr Hussein, people of good will who can see that the Muslims are often their own worst enemies, that they create by their own actions the discrimination and anti-Muslim feelings they so loudly protest.

Perhaps those people are out there...but if they are, their complete lack of moral courage is demonstrated by their silence.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


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