Time for Everyone to Denounce Radical Islam
The TV screen reflected the troubled faces of the men at the podium who were holding a news conference. The caption said, rather simply, "Muslims Express Outrage."
Finally, I thought, we were going to hear what millions of Americans had been waiting for: an orchestrated, organized, thoughtful, eloquent condemnation by American Islamic leaders of the worldwide terror and violence that Muslim fanatics continue to heap upon innocents.
One bloody, cruel attack after another seems to have been met with silence by Muslims living in America. Nevermind the terrifying reports of jubilant men, women and children dancing in the streets after Sept. 11, 2001.
Fanatics are fanatics. But why aren't more thoughtful, peace-loving Muslims who live in the United States enthusiastically stepping up and speaking out against their fellow Muslims who think beheading college kids and blowing up American soldiers is their ticket to heaven? So when I saw the image of "outraged Muslims" on the television, I hurried over to the set, turned up the volume, and settled into my easy chair.
Sadly, this wasn't a news event featuring Muslim leaders condemning the violence. Evidently, some Muslim clerics were asked to leave a US Airways plane when some passengers complained about what appeared to be suspicious behavior. According to The New York Times, one of the passengers passed a note to a flight attendant that claimed that the Arab men were overheard cursing President Bush over the capture of Saddam Hussein and continually chanting, "Allah, Allah, Allah."
It's impossible to know whether the accusation is accurate or not. Clearly, people can misunderstand or not hear correctly, or even worse, tell lies about other people. But if any aspect of the passenger's letter is correct, it's pretty easy to understand why people would have been concerned.
This war on terror is so difficult and complicated in a variety of ways. For one thing, those of us who don't know the Koran or speak Arabic have to rely on the assurances of those who do that true Muslims are, indeed, peace-loving. It's troubling to hear people who claim the Koran mandates that true Islamic believers understand and even support slaughtering infidels.
Craig Winn, a man who wrote a book called "Tea With Terrorists," claims to have spent thousands of hours studying the Koran and interviewing Muslim terrorists. He has told me that there is no doubt in his mind that any true "good" Muslim completely embraces jihad, or Holy War.
Thankfully, there are many Muslims who immediately refute that and point to the Old Testament in the Bible and its depictions of stonings and other brutal acts as a way to demonstrate that things can be misinterpreted.