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A religion of peace vs. apologists for terrorism

Most Muslims are not terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslims. The war on terror will never end unless moderate Muslims all over the world confront it
 
Harvey Enchin
Vancouver Sun

Hours after the terror attacks on the London subway and a bus last week, the Canadian Islamic Congress issued a brief statement that condemned the bombing.

It offered no condolences, expressed no grief, displayed no shock; it was instead a directive to the public not to blame Islam.

"We hope Canadian Muslims are not found guilty by association," said its national president, Mohamed Elmasry.

Criticism forced him to subsequently toss in some disingenuous sympathy, but he'd shown his true colours. That Elmasry should be speaking as the head of any Islamic organization is an affront to what its followers call a religion of peace.

Last year, he suggested all Israelis over the age of 18 should be murdered, arguing that because Israel has a civilian army they are legitimate targets for Palestinian suicide bombers. There were calls for his resignation, which Muslim leaders refused. Later, on a CBC radio program, he defended Islamic terrorism, saying the colonial powers committed worse atrocities and deserved what they got.

Earlier this year, Elmasry defended the Syrian occupation of Lebanon as a peacekeeping mission and described Iraq under Saddam Hussein as some sort of paradise with full employment, a stable public service infrastructure, and one of the leading Middle East states in administration, education and health care before the intervention of the international coalition plunged it into chaos.

No mention of the gassing of the Kurds, the torture chambers and rape rooms, the attack on Kuwait, war with Iran or the Scud missiles fired at Israel.

As long as apologists for terrorism like Elmasry are allowed to be spokesmen for Islam, all Muslims are vulnerable to being found guilty by association.

This need not be the case. Zijad Delich, the imam at the Jami'a Mosque in Richmond, sounded the right note last week, urging that the "criminals" who carried out the London terror attack be brought to justice. Similar sentiments were heard from the Canadian Council on American-Islamic relations and several Muslim groups in Britain.

Unfortunately, many of the condemnations of the bombing were perfunctory and fell far short of a call to arms in the war on terrorism.

Shortly after the bombing, Internet chat rooms run by British Muslims were flooded with congratulatory messages, hailing their victory over the infidels. The Christian Science Monitor reported a Muslim watchmaker in northeast London saying, "We don't need to fight. We are taking over. England does not belong to the English people, it belongs to God."

In a seemingly unrelated event, The Jordan Times reported that last week's International Islamic Conference had issued statements limiting who can issue fatwas and forbidding the declaration of any Muslim as an apostate, representing a landmark in Muslim history "even as the West is running an anti-Muslim campaign that was nurtured by Israel during the 1990s . . . ."

While the statement is welcome, given that terror groups use the term "apostate" to stigmatize other moderate Muslims and set them up for murder, the official state-run Jordanian newspaper added a ludicrous libel, unable to contain its hatred for the West in general and Israel in particular.

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