"History is philosophy teaching by example." (Lord Bolingbroke)

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Sunday, October 03, 2004

Is the Tide Rising in Islamia? - ISLAM HAS TO SILENCE INCITERS OF TERRORISM, Abdel Rahman Al-Rashed, General Manager Of The Al-Arabiya News Channel, Sep 2, 2004.

I save stuff as I find it. This article dates to 6 September 2004, but its message overshadows any question of dated information. Reformation of the Middle East and Islam must come from the dramatis personae themselves. We cannot expect rapid change, but it starts with the intelligentsia, like Abdel Rahman Al-Rashed.

IT is a certain fact that not all Muslims are terrorists, but it is equally certain, and exceptionally painful, that almost all terrorists are Muslims.

The hostage-takers of children in Beslan, North Ossetia, were Muslims.

The kidnappers and subsequent murderers of the Nepalese workers in Iraq were also Muslims. Those involved in rape and murder in Darfur, Sudan, are Muslims, with other Muslims chosen to be their victims.

Those responsible for the attacks on residential towers in Riyadh and Khobar were Muslims. The two women who crashed two airplanes last week were also Muslims.

Bin Laden is a Muslim. The majority of those who manned the suicide bombings against buses, vehicles, schools, houses and buildings, all over the world, were Muslim.

What a pathetic record. What an abominable "achievement". Does all this tell us anything about ourselves, our societies and our culture?

Let us start with putting an end to a history of denial. Let us acknowledge their reality, instead of denying them and seeking to justify them with sound and fury signifying nothing. We must cure ourselves.

Self-cure starts with self-realisation and confession. We should then run after our terrorist sons, the sour grapes of a deformed culture.

Let us listen to Yusuf al-Qaradawi - the Qatar-based radical Egyptian cleric - and hear him recite his "fatwa" about the religious permissibility of killing civilian Americans in Iraq.

Let us contemplate a Sheikh allowing, even calling for, the murder of civilians.

AN ailing Sheikh, in his last days, with two daughters studying in "infidel" Britain, soliciting children to kill civilians.

How can we believe him when he tells us Islam is a religion of mercy and peace while he is turning it into a religion of blood and slaughter?

We can't call those who take schoolchildren as hostages our own.

We cannot tolerate in our midst those who abduct journalists, murder civilians, explode buses; we cannot accept them as related to us, whatever the sufferings they claim to justify their criminal deeds. These are the people who have smeared Islam and stained its image.

We cannot clear our names unless we own up to the shameful fact that terrorism has become an Islamic enterprise - an almost exclusive monopoly, implemented by Muslim men and women.

We cannot redeem our extremist youths, who commit these heinous crimes, without confronting the Sheikhs who thought it ennobling to send other people's sons and daughters to certain death, while sending their own children to European and American schools and colleges.

- THIS article has previously appeared in the pan-Arabic newspaper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat.


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