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On terrorism: Credit where credit is due

February 27, 2008

It’s welcome news, this statement from a huge gathering of Muslim scholars:

“…Scholars from 6,000 religious schools attended the meeting. The Deoband school promotes a brand of Islam which some say was an inspiration to Afghanistan’s Taleban. The school has always denied this.

Opening the conclave the head of the Deoband school, Maulana Marghoobur Rahman, described terrorism as a thoughtless act which is against the teachings of Islam. He said that the killing of innocent people of any religion was prohibited by the Koran, the Muslim Holy Book.

Many participants said they want to change popular perceptions in which, they say, terrorism is being equated with Islam. Others said that while Muslims should not be harassed because of anti-terrorism operations, the community also needed to be more introspective… “
BBC Reports Muslim scholars decry terrorism.

“More introspective.”  Yeah, that would be good medicine for both sides right about now – or a lot earlier.  And neither side needs to wait for the other to start looking in the mirror either. Islam doesn’t really have a central authority so it takes time to get that many scholars together to see the obvious. 

But the Muslim world does have many equivalents to our president; tough-talking, anti-intellectual demagogues whose jingoism just churns out death and suffering all around in the name of widely held good principles. Right now they’re probably denouncing the conclave with Arabic rhetoric that translates to; “Lousy liberals!  Don’t they understand we’re at war?!

Anyway – good going, Muslim-scholar guys, this is a really positive step. It truly is the best thing you can do to help Muslims who live in non-Muslim societies. And, uh, everyone else too.

Categories: Religion