Somewhere on A1A...

Saturday, August 17, 2002

Moderate Islam Watch

Might this kind of article eventually find its way to the Arab News? Here's a call for the Muslim silent majority to come forward, by Karamatullah K. Ghori, an Indian Muslim.

September 11, it is being said, has changed the world, and it may never be the same place it was on September 10. That being the case, let us seize this watershed to quiz ourselves why it is that we, Muslims of the world, find ourselves in the dock of universal opprobrium and condemnation , and are being questioned not only about our motives but also about our credentials, our moorings and our beliefs.

A sense of moral outrage, indignation and hurt sweeping across the Islamic world like a prairie fire has irrefutable merit and justification. However, an overtone of self-righteousness asserting itself stridently in some quarters is unjustified, and could still cause more harm. Throwing the book at those who may be ignorant of it does not mean anything. The sense of hurt aside, the general belief of the silent majority in much of the Islamic world that Muslims are being viciously targetted only because of the Islamophobia that has suddenly gripped the west and has been ruling the roost there since September 11 is not conducive to any serious appraisal of our own faults and shortcomings. This temptation for short cuts, and faulting others for our failures, is nihilistic and must stop.
And about terrorism:
Islamic terrorism’, ensconced in western vocabulary for nearly a decade , has become a favourite bete noire in the aftermath of September 11. Once again, Islam is being made a lightning rod for the misdeeds of a few disgruntled and frustrated Muslims who had an axe to grind with the world’s lone policing power. The problem of whether or not Islam and its core values have anything to do with the terrorism of Bin Lden and his followers is becoming complex and convoluted because the Muslim world has yet to have its act together on this debate.
Will we see more of this? We need to if we are to believe that a silent majority of true Muslims is willing and able to live in peace with the rest of the world.


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