For years, since 911, actually, we have been told that Islam is a religion of peace (despite the tens of thousands of Islamic attacks across the world since 911) and that most Muslims are moderate, peace loving, tolerant, blah, blah, blah.
So where are they? Seriously. The entire approach and US policy is based on this false premise. After all, the thinking goes, if Islam is going to be reformed, it will have to be done by those Muslims. Yes, and Santy Claus is gonna be especially good to me this year.
Two honor killing trials are underway. One in Arizona and one in New York. Where are American Muslim women protesting this ghastly gender apartheid? Christians are being slaughtered in the name of Islam in Egypt, Nigeria, Indonesia. Where are the Muslims taking to the streets? When the mullahs were slaughtering the people in Iran, where were the American Muslims? And what do we hear at the idea that the brutal, bloody Muslim Brotherhood may seize power in Egypt? Nothing. The only voices we hear are those of Islamic supremacists like Muslim Brotherhood CAIR, ISNA, ICNA, et al, advancing Islamic law and imperialism.
Pakistan is executing Christians for blasphemy (more on this from Mark Durie) -- where is the outrage among the "moderates"?
In the Toronto Star of Friday January 21, an article was published with the headline 'Pakistani Christians seek safety in Islam'. It described a steady stream of Christians who are converting to Islam in Pakistan in order to ensure their safety and the safety of their children.
Many incidents have been reported from Pakistan where Muslims have threatened their Christian neighbours with a blasphemy charge out of vindictiveness, or to extort something from them. This is a potent threat, because in Pakistan the penalty for blasphemy against Islam is death. The Star reported that Nadeem Anthony, a member of Pakistan's Human Rights Commission, has said:"No one feels safe right now. People are scared. If you want something from your neighbour or you are angry at him, you say 'blasphemy' and that's it."It is not only Christians who are targeted with the blasphemy law. The Star article also describe a recent case of a Shi'ite doctor who was charged with blasphemy after he threw a travelling salesman's business card in the trash. The salesman, whose name was Muhammad, complained to religious authorities that throwing his business card aaway was blasphemy, because Muhammad is also the name of Islam's founder. It seems that the salesman was annoyed that the doctor had refused to buy his product, and accused him of a capital offence out of spite. (Shi'ites are a religious minority in Pakistan.) In Pakistan putting a piece of paper in the trash can be capital offense.
Although most of the Star's Canadian readers would view such an incident with horror, these days sentiment in favour of the blasphemy law is riding very high in Pakistan. This can been seen in reactions to the murder of Salman Taseer, governor of Punjab, for his opposition to the law and support for Asia Bibi, a Christian women who has been charged with blasphemy. When Taseer's self-confessed killer, Malik Mumtaz Qadri, was being taken to court, he was showered with rose petals by 400 lawyers, who clambered over each other to offer him their services, and a rally held in Karachi to demonstrate support for the killing attracted 40,000 people.
There is a basis in Islam's core texts for using fear to encourage conversions. Converting to be safe goes all the way back to Muhammad. The concept is summed up in the well known Arabic phrase aslim taslam 'Convert to Islam and you will be safe'.
Where are the Muslims? Does it not strike anyone as off that our entire strategy is predicated on this unseen protaganist who is going to save the West from Islamic jihad?
Silence from Muslim-Americans Boston.com
AMID THE uproar earlier this month over the assassination of Salmaan Taseer, the secularist governor of the Pakistani province of Punjab, Muslim-American organizations have been largely silent. At a time when mainstream Muslim leaders have been trying to demonstrate their embrace of religious tolerance and pluralism to their fellow Americans, few have had a word to say about this People’s Party leader whose denunciation of Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy law led to his death at the hands of a Muslim zealot — a zealot who has since been celebrated by fundamentalists around the globe.
The most notable silence is on the part of the Islamic Circle of North America. Operating in this country for about 40 years, this organization has ideological ties to the Jamaat-e-Islami, one of Pakistan’s main Islamist political parties. The Jamaat explained away the assassination of Taseer on the grounds that it could have been avoided if the government had simply removed him from office. Though the Islamic Circle of North America does not necessarily take orders from its Pakistani parent, it appears unwilling to challenge the views of its overwhelmingly immigrant membership from Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh — many of whom seem to have little sympathy for the slain politician’s secularist views.
Nor is this the first instance of such silence. Last May, when the Pakistani Taliban slaughtered 93 members of a persecuted Muslim sect, the Ahmadiyya, the Islamic Circle of North America held its annual convention in Hartford. Speakers continually reminded the several thousand attendees that “Islam is a religion of peace,’’ yet one of us in attendance heard not a word about the killings all weekend. Other Muslim-American organizations, none of which has such direct and exclusive ties to Pakistan and the region, had even less excuse for their silence.
While Muslim-American leaders are constantly reminding their followers to exercise their rights as Americans, they also embrace the view that Muslims here are part of the worldwide community of fellow believers — the ummah. As such, these organizations are riven by numberless fissures that run along linguistic, ethnic, racial, and doctrinal lines. Their leaders are preoccupied with not saying or doing anything that would cause such fissures to develop into major ruptures.
So while many Muslim-Americans may abhor what happened in Pakistan, others may agree with friends and relatives back home that Taseer’s killing was justified, or at least to be tolerated. In between are Muslims who are conflicted about such events but who get little guidance from leaders who seem to lack either the wisdom or the courage to speak with moral clarity. Some of these leaders are not the pluralists they claim to be. Others have simply grown accustomed to avoiding the difficult choices facing them and instead, especially since 9/11, would rather mobilize and unify their fractious members by pointing to a common enemy — whether it is the FBI, the Patriot Act, or Islamophobes.
The situation is not hopeless, however. It is certainly noteworthy that all the leaders and organizations that have been silent about Taseer’s assassination have been equally vocal and explicit in their denunciation of the slaughter of Coptic Christians in Egypt on Jan. 1. They clearly understood that the killing of Christians by Muslims is not something about which they could remain silent. Now these leaders must confront the reality that in contemporary America, genuine religious pluralism requires them to be just as outraged when Muslims kill Muslims.
In the name of Muslim unity, many Muslim-American leaders and organizations have been less than coherent when it comes to violent extremism. As a result, they have confused their members as to what true religious toleration and pluralism require, and consequently feed the very suspicions of those inclined to doubt the possibility of Muslims fully assimilating to the American way of life. This is a profound disservice to the many Muslim-Americans who are doing just that.