The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Think back for just a moment to September, 2005 and the incident of the “Danish Cartoons.” You remember, the caricatures of the Profit Mohammed published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Postenthat. The cartoons were considered so offensive that hundreds of thousands of Moslems conducted often-violent demonstrations in various parts of the word. As offensive to Moslems as they may have been, the cartoons in and of themselves injured no person physically and were a legitimate exercise in free speech in the country of their origin.

Now consider the days following November 27, 2008. Ten Islamist terrorists murdered 173 innocent people in cold blood in Mumbai. Leaders within the Islamic community in India condemned the murderers and suggested that they are not true Moslems. But what about the broader Islamic community throughout the Arab world, Indonesia and Asia? Sure, there have been a few op-ed pieces condemning the attacks, but the broader Islamic community, lead by Imams in dozens of countries including the USA, has remained errily quiet. Tom Friedman comments:
… if 10 young Indians from a splinter wing of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party traveled by boat to Pakistan, shot up two hotels in Karachi and the central train station, killed at least 173 people, and then, for good measure, murdered the imam and his wife at a Saudi-financed mosque while they were cradling their 2-year-old son — purely because they were Sunni Muslims — where would we be today? The entire Muslim world would be aflame and in the streets.

Our war on Islamist terror will continue. We’ll use our diplomatic efforts to change perceptions of the West in the Islamic community, our most generous financial aid to alleviate the poverty that a broken Arab culture visits on its own, our best methods of intelligence to thwart attacks before they happen, and our best and bravest warriors to defeat terrorist scum when they do attack. But it won’t be enough – never has been, never will be.

Until the broader Islamic community demonstrates against terror with the same vehemence they used to demonstrate against cartoons, terror will never be defeated. I worry that that won’t happen.

And someday, the terrorists will do something so heinous, so terrible that it will be too late for Islam to protest their actions. Instead, all of those innocent Moslems who chose to be silent, all of those religious leaders who chose to make excuses, and all of those Islamic countries who looked the other way will pay a terrible price. All because good, decent Islamic people remained silent.