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Building a unified resistance

Building a unified resistance

Dr. Richard L. Benkin writes from USA

In a non-descript office in an undisclosed location in the United States, a group of Muslims and non-Muslims recently met to share their information, frustrations, and plans. They came together with a shared conviction that radical Islam is an evil and corrupt interpretation of the religion of The Prophet, but yet has come to be Islam’s face to the world; and that it was high time for Muslims—the majority of whom think as they do—to take back their faith from these infidels.  Due to the sensitive nature of their undertaking and the ruthlessness of their opponents—and because some of the Muslims live inside the Muslim world—individuals are being quoted anonymously here.

The discussion was lively with generally strong agreement among the participants, except that those Muslims living in Islamic countries showed a greater sense of urgency than those of Muslims living in the West.  All (including some influential Americans who participated) agreed that something had to be done.  The Muslims were angry, having watched their faith—the faith they still follow and revere—taken over by groups of their co-religionists “who have no morals and who do not follow the laws of the Holy Qur’an.”  They cited laws about women, other faiths, suicide, and the taking of human life, and made the point that in almost every country where radical Islam has gained influence, its hard core adherents form but a small minority of the Muslim population.  As one said, it is like “when you have an airplane with 275 passengers hijacked by three terrorists.”

The non-Muslims were equally fed up: tired of Islamists issuing repeated threats of genocide and virulently anti-American, anti-Israeli, anti-Christian, and anti-Semitic statements.  They were tired of that small minority defining what Islam is.  No one could quite put their finger on how it got that far; but all declared war on that corruption of a faith, radical Islam, and those who choose the path of appeasement.  Like the Thugis of India and the Crusaders of Medieval Europe, radical Islamists are destined for the dust bin of history and eternal infamy.

If that is to happen any time soon, however, the West has to get its own house in order.  Two opposite but equally dangerous tendencies have developed in response to this situation.  One tends to characterize the political left; the other is found among some on the political right; both do nothing but undermine those Muslims fighting for their religion’s very soul.

Islamist terror attacks on the US, Spain, Great Britain, Tunisia, Turkey, and elsewhere were wrong by any system of morals and had to be decried, which they were.  Muslims were asked to join in the condemnation but tended to respond tepidly at best.  Nonie Darwish, the founder of Arabs for Israel, tells how she went to Arab-Americans after 9/11 and received reactions ranging from silence to statements that the US deserved it.  So we continue to ask:  ‘Where are the moderate Muslims; those who will condemn terror unequivocally, as well as the Imams and others who provide ideological cover for terrorists and help the weak justify their appeasement?’  And because for the most part only silence comes in response, we see the continued emergence of those two destructive trends.  Some respond by trying to create moderate Muslims where they do not exist.  They call PA President Mahmoud Abbas a moderate—though he has not recanted his published Holocaust denial and still speaks of a Palestinian state as only the first step in driving out all Jews from the Middle East.  US, EU, and UK officials have sponsored Muslim groups and individuals who have not even tried to hide their support for Islamist radicals.  Those faux moderates cite western foreign policy or Israel’s struggle to stave off genocide as the reasons and thereby justifications for terror; and yet they are called moderate.  On the other end of the spectrum, others site verses from the Quran that call for the killing of “infidels” and the eradication of other faiths.  And in doing so, they claim that Islam itself is evil.  Yet, they forget that similar verses can be found in the holy books of other religions.  The real issue is how people act.

Christianity is a good example.  Anti-Jewish passages in the Christian Bible and in the writings of men like St. Augustine have been used to justify centuries of anti-Jewish violence.  Eventually Christians said, ‘Enough.’  They stopped justifying the violence and changed the face of Christianity.  It is time for Muslims to do the same.  It is began in the meeting I described and others like it. And it is incumbent upon the defenders of democracy and justice to support them in whatever ways we can.

The first trend, that of appeasement, essentially denies the existence of an enemy and admits that its adherents will go to any length to avoid immediate violence.  The second trend, that of bigotry, writes off one third of the world’s population as irrevocably evil.  Both trends undermine real moderates.  The first denies their existence lionizes our enemies.  The second refuses to believe in them and helps the radicals who want to make this a war on Islam.

At meetings like the one described above, Muslims and non-Muslims are joining together to take effective action to change all of that.  One problem that has plagued the resistance against Islamist terror is disunity.  Those Muslims at a conference in St. Petersburg, Florida, earlier this year agreed on that very point.  They found that Islamists “are united in a worldwide network.  Even if they don’t know everybody, they’re linked by the broader organization.  To the contrary, we’re fragmented.”  Indeed, resistance members are separated by lack of funds and by lack of any common organization.  They are also fragmented because while the Islamist organizations brook no deviation from accepted orthodoxy, their potential opponents represent a range of ideologies and belief systems.  Unfortunately, some of them allow those differences to obscure their greater similarities.

Efforts to build a united resistance have encountered another obstacle.  “There are too many egos,” one colleague told me.  And it is not unusual for social movements to lose their way because of these sorts of divisions.  The quiet meetings taking place mostly in the United States are an incipient attempt to overcome these marginal elements of disunity and to develop a unified Resistance that will allow Muslims to work together despite discordant ideologies and beliefs.  “If the radicals win,” one told me, “our differences won’t matter anyway.  We’ll either be forced to give them up or we’ll be dead.”
Posted on 06 Sep 2007 by Root


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