The voice that can make a difference

For all the observations and writings on terrorism and Islamic fascism by “Western” reporters, bloggers, and concerned citizens, none carries the weight of someone who can speak from the personal experiences of a Muslim living in am Islamic nation. Sadly, when such voices try to speak out, they are too often shut down or killed outright – usually with the support of (or in fact, by) their government.

While “fill-in-the-blanks” type statements condemning terrorist activities are all the rage with Moslem organizations these days, few take the time to actually speak out against the enemies in their midst. Ahmed H. Al-Rahim seems to be one scholar who’s not afraid to confront those who seek to pervert his religion through terrorism and hate. Today his commentary in the Wall Street Journal details an Egyptian who dared to speak out, only to be forced to retract his statements by death threats from his fellow Muslims.

But Mr. Al-Rahim’s message is a powerful one: In the United States, where citizens are guaranteed the right to freedom of expression, and the laws protect us from being persecuted for the proper execution of this right, why aren’t more American Muslims taking a stand against those giving their religion a virtual black-eye? This is America, folks… you don’t have to subject yourselves to the will of a religious leader whose message has gone afoul. Your conscience is welcome and expected to guide you when religious leaders have lost their path, or attempt to lead you down a path you know is wrong. Don’t worry, you’re not the first group to be led astray by charismatic zealots bent on violence, murder, and/or depravation. There’s no shame in exposing the darkside for what it is, it happens in every religion. – Why Not a ‘Million Muslim March’?

The silencing of Mr. Qimany could not come at a worse time, when there are so few Muslims speaking out against Islamism and the recent spate of bombings. Sadly, only the voices of Western political leaders constantly remind us that Islam is a “religion of peace.” Where are the Muslims, especially those living in the West, who have the freedom to organize and make their voices heard? It seems that the only time we hear from the Muslim masses is when there are alleged desecrations of the Quran, or of prisoner abuse in Iraq. Where is the Muslim outrage, the mass protests to defend Islam, in whose sacred name murder is committed nearly every day, against what Western leaders describe as a “perversion of its true nature”?

Alas, the battle against Islamism — and also for the heart of Islam — has become a battle for the West to fight. As a Muslim, these acts of terrorism committed by fellow Muslims — and yes, they are Muslims, from whom we cannot distance ourselves by the sophistry that asserts that their version is but a perversion of Islam — are a great source of shame. But what is more shameful is that there are no mass Muslim protests to speak of against terrorism that is committed in our name. In the same way that Muslims have protested against alleged desecrations of the Quran, they now should be out in full force in the streets of Cairo, London and New York, sending a clear message to the Islamists that Enough is Enough. Why not a “Million Muslim March” on Washington, of law-abiding Muslim citizens clamoring to reclaim their faith from those who would kill innocents in its name? Muslims must no longer stand by while murder and suicide bombings are committed in their name.

edit: While digging around for information on this article, I came across this discussion. Several of the commentors seem to be Asian (based on their words and signatures), and it’s an enlightening view on how some American Muslims view their role in Islam and America.