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September 4, 2014
Column #1,723
American Muslims Denounce ISIS
By Mike McManus

WASHINGTON - After the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) overran much of Iraq, on August 11 radio host Laura Ingraham charged, “It would be nice if more in the Muslim world coming out and condemning what the Islamic State is doing. You’re not hearing enough of those voices, if any. I mean, where are those people?”

Some top Muslim leaders had spoken out – but were not covered by the mainstream press. For example, Iyad Ameen Madani, the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which represents 1.4 billion Muslims in 57 countries condemned ISIS’ threats against Christians in Iraq, saying the “forced deportation under threat of execution” is “a crime that cannot be tolerated.”

When journalist James Foley was beheaded August 19, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) made a similar denunciation, but I do not recall reading or hearing about it.

However, after Steven Sotloff became the second journalist beheaded, CAIR forcefully declared: “No words can describe the horror, disgust and sorrow felt by Muslims in America and worldwide at the unconscionable and un-Islamic violence perpetrated by the terror group ISIS. The criminal actions of ISIS are antithetical to the faith of Islam.”

The group cited Chapter 76 of the Koran which says the “Devotees of God…feed, for the love of God, the indigent, the orphan and the captive.”

More important, CAIR mobilized spokespeople around the country to make their voices heard this week.

In Virginia, Rizwan Jaka boldly proclaimed, “We unequivocally condemn these brutal attacks and beheadings. These are not Islamic practices. This is just violent evil that has no religion and no faith.” Jaka is a member of the board of trustees of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) with 10 branches in northern Virginia and Washington D.C.

Tampa’s CAIR leader, Hassan Shibly, in a long interview with a local network TV station, recalled that Mohammad himself warned about a group of young followers “who claim to be super religious, but will be very deviant and kill those who disagree with them.”

Shibly charged that ISIS is “using theological arguments twisted out of context to take advantage of the chaos to grab power for itself.” He alleged few are joining from the Middle East, but many from Europe who are reading books like “Islam for Dummies.”

In El Paso some Americans asked “Where are the moderate Muslims? There aren’t any moderate Muslims.” Nonsense, replied local leaders of Islam: “The condemnation of the unrelenting violence has been voiced by imams across the country. The fact they do not make headlines is not the fault, nor the responsibility of Muslims.

“Muslims cannot be held responsible for the egregious wrongs of a minority who wield terror in the name of Islam, or for the common narrative in the media which perpetuates the idea that Muslims are either violent or silent about the violence.”

In Southern California Muslim leaders decried the “monstrous acts” by the Islamic State’s beheading of Sotloff on the same day the video was released. “It’s morally repellent and it is cruel,” said Hussam Ayloush, Director of CAIR’s Los Angeles chapter. “Such brutal acts must face punishment and those who perpetrate such acts must face justice.”

In Cincinnati, Ohio Imam Ishmeel Chartier lamented: “To twist the word of God out of context – it breaks my heart. It is a dishonor to the faith. I am absolutely disgusted by it. We need to be the ones who stand up against these groups and tell them we will not let people from caves dictate our voice. We will not let animals have our say. We will have our own narrative.”

One reason Islamic voices were not heard for weeks is the deep sadness Muslims feel about how democracy has failed in Egypt where the democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood was overthrown by the army, noted CAIR spokeswoman Zainab Chaudry.

In Washington, an imam asserted, “The Koran teaches that if you have slain the life of one person it is as if you have slain all humanity.”

Another addressed the families of Foley and Sotloff, “Know that your sons represents the best of humanity for they followed their conscience, despite incredible dangers.”

One complication has been President Obama’s embrace of Islam. In 2009 he discontinued hosting the National Day of Prayer but hosts White House dinners honoring Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr. For years the Obama Administration removed all terms that Muslims find offensive such as jihad, terrorists or radical Islamists.

For 30 years Obama has worn a ring with the words, “There is no God but Allah.”

Christians would respectfully disagree.


 

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