Amman, Jordan -- In a direct challenge to the international uproar over cartoons lampooning the prophet Muhammad, the Jordanian journalist Jihad Momani wrote: "What brings more prejudice against Islam, these caricatures or pictures of a hostage-taker slashing the throat of his victim in front of the cameras, or a suicide bomber who blows himself up during a wedding ceremony?"
In Yemen, an editor named Muhammad al-Assadi wrote an editorial condemning the cartoons but also lamenting the way many Muslims reacted. "Muslims had an opportunity to educate the world about the merits of the prophet Muhammad and the peacefulness of the religion he had come with," Assadi wrote. He added: "Muslims know how to lose, better than how to use, opportunities."
To illustrate their points, both editors published selections of the drawings -- and for that they were arrested and threatened with lengthy prison terms.
This is just the beginning of the fight within Islam, we must support the moderate Muslims when they stand up to terror.
Momani and Assadi are among 11 journalists in five countries facing prosecution for their decision to publish some of the cartoons. Their cases illustrate another side of this conflict, the intra-Muslim side, in what has typically been defined as a struggle between Islam and the West.
The flareup over the cartoons, first published in a Danish newspaper, has magnified a fault line running through the Middle East, between those who want to engage their communities in a direct, introspective dialogue and those who focus on outside enemies.
But it has also underscored a political struggle involving emerging Islamic political movements, like Hamas in Gaza and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and Arab governments unsure of how to contain them.