Saturday, September 30, 2006

`I'm sorry..for the terrible crimes committed by Muslims'

The Toronto Sun's Salim Mansur has a stunning piece that does an amazing job of showing, if you needed proof, that decent, peace loving Muslims do exist,and that they are agonized over the jihad leashed against the west.

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.


Anonymous said...

Very nice piece, but if Muslims are mostly liberal, kind people dominated by armed minorities, this doesn't explain why at least 34% of Muslims in Britain want sharia law, and why at least 37% think attacks against Jews are legitimate. Don't forget, these are the ones who are willing to admit it, who knows how many closet jihadists there are?

I appreciate this man trying to reach out, but I ain't buying it.

Freedom Fighter said...

I don't think that was what he was trying to say.

Remember the 20-60-20 formulae that I've talked about before...20% actively jihadi, 20%,like this man who are appalled at what is being done in the name of Islam, and 60% who are more or less passive, and are on various points on the scale, but will move with events one way or the other.

If anything, this piece endorses that view and points out the necessity of empowering non-jihadi Muslims...something the West does NOT do now.We must make that 60% choose sides.

The alternative, of course, is wholesale deportations, which would work...but that carries baggage of its own sort that is fairly undesireable.

At the very least, we ought to try Plan A first, I think.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you about everything besides the 20-20-60 formula. I don't mean any disrespect to you, but how can you possibly think that only 20% of Muslims are actively involved in jihad when more than 20% are accepting, and even gleeful of terrorism, and they're living in one of the most free societies in the world?

I think that in America the situation isn't nearly as dire, but that's no reason to open the doors to people from countries like, oh, I don't know, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, to name a few.

Incindentally, this is a problem that plagues socialistic countries. Now I like to see socialism choking on its fat as much as the next guy, but even I'd rather have a socialist country to the north than an Islamist country.

Freedom Fighter said...

Hi Nazar,

No offence taken.

I think the formulae is valid, though I agree the numbers are probably more skewed towards the jihadis outside of America.

Remember, I talked about points on the scale.

I think 20% of the Muslim population is ACTIVELY involved in things like al Qaeda, Jihad terrorism and war against the west.

60% may include a number of people that have sympathy for their aims, and may even fall into the category that Stephen Emerson referred to as `cultural jihadists.' They may even give a little money and rhetorical support now and then..but they're not strapping bombs to themselves or planning terrorist assaults openly on the west.

The majority can be turned, depending on events. As Julius Caeser once wrote about the Germans in his `Commentaries' the majority of Muslims,particularly Arabs are normally either at your throat or at your feet.

Submission is built into the culture, which is why Islam was such a success.

Remember that the Ottomans ruled over the Arabs for centuries while bleeding them white with taxes and otherwise treating them them in a no nonsense harsh manner without any major problems until the empire was in its death throes.

Anonymous said...

You mean the Ottomans aren't Arabs themselves? And here I was, thinking they were all one and same.

Thanks for clarifying your formula. I thought that the ones who occasionally gave a dinar or two were included in the jihadist 20%, but I guess I misandustood you.

Still, if 60% "have sympathy" for a nefarious group like Al-Qaida, you gotta ask yourself are they convertable to our side? Aren't they already so out there that nothing can convince them how wrong they are?

Freedom Fighter said...

The Ottomans were Turks, Nazar. And they considered the Arabs (and probably still do, to some degree)as a lower form of life.

See Bernard Lewis' `A short History Of The Middle East'.

As for the 60%, keep in mind that I said they are at different points along the scale - in other words, not all of them have a sympathy for jihad. And they can be `turned' by events towards th eside that appears to be winning.