He also provides a lucid explanation of the difficulties Muslims like him face in getting their voices heard:
"In a recent column, Michael Coren, my colleague here at the Sun, demanded Muslims apologize for wrongs too numerous to list.
Coren is right. I, as a Muslim, apologize without equivocation or reservation for the terrible crimes -- small and big -- committed by Muslims against non-Muslims and against Muslims, as in Darfur, who are weak and easy prey to those who hold power in the name of Islam.
I imagine, however, Coren is not seeking an apology from a person of Muslim faith such as I, who maintains no rank and cannot speak on behalf of the institutionalized world of Islam.
Like many others who share his frustration and legitimate anger, Coren is asking to hear a contrite voice from within institutionalized Islam -- to repent for Muslim misconduct, past and present, that is indefensible by any standard of civility and decency, and seek forgiveness.
But Coren and others might well wait indefinitely for such an apology from those representatives of institutionalized Islam convinced of their own righteousness, even as they are engineers of a civilization's wreckage and prosper in it by the art of bullying.
Muslims and non-Muslims often point to the fact there is no Vatican in contemporary Islam -- no figure like the Pope or the Archbishop of Canterbury who authoritatively represents the Muslim world.
This is only partly true, for the lack of a Pope-like figure among Muslims does not mean an absence of an institutionalized setting operative in the Muslim world.
From the earliest years of post-Prophetic Islam, Muslims holding the power of the sword and what constitutes the authoritative meaning of the Koran and the prophet's traditions, have rigged the boundaries of institutionalized Islam. The wielders of the sword and interpreters of faith have worked in tandem to impose their consensus on all Muslims, and those who have questioned their authority have paid a steep price.
This institutionalized reality of Islam and its resulting complexity are not well understood by non-Muslims. Institutionalized Islam is represented by Muslim majority states and their political and religious leaders who share a consensus on matters of politics and faith.
Below institutionalized Islam's scrutiny exists a vast unaccounted number of Muslims who seek anonymity to escape the coercive notice of authorities in mosques and in presidential or monarchical palaces. Their voices, were they heard, would be rudely dismissed as heretical."
And, though Salim Mansur does not say so directly, their lives would be at risk. Remember, one of the first fatwas to obtain wide spread publicity in the west was against writer Soloman Rushdie - a Muslim.
Mansur is a courageous man, and one can only pray that it's contagious.
Read the rest here.