True Test Of Courage Must Come From Islamic Community
By Alicia Colon
October 12, 2001
Recently I received a mass mailing from someone asking everybody on the e-mail list to boycott a neighborhood store because the owner and clerks cheered when the World Trade Center was attacked by terrorists. There are numerous reports of those who have witnessed similar acts of incredible insensitivity by certain segments of the Muslim community. I do not know if these incidents are true or merely maliciously instigated urban rumors.
While I am continually impressed by the dignity of President Bush, Mayor Giuliani and Governor Pataki for their pleas for restraint in targeting the Muslim community, I can understand why so many non-Muslims will lump the innocent with those guilty of the recent atrocities. There is a deep suspicion by those of different faiths that the Muslim community shares Osama Bin Ladenís hatred of the United States and would welcome a jihad against non-Islamics.
From the very first American involvement with Islamic fundamentalism via the Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran, we have heard only weak condemnation from the Muslim leaders of this hostile presence within their community. Yes, they are shocked after each bombing or suicide raid in the fifty countries around the world racked by Islamic terrorists but what assistance have they provided to help capture these murderers? Perhaps Iím mistaken and I just havenít heard about their cooperation so the overall impression most Americans have is that either most Muslims sympathize and cooperate with these thugs or they are terrified of them.
How does one deal with charismatic madmen who convince ignorant disciples that dying while killing innocents will gain them entrance into paradise? Is it any wonder that many are confused about Islam? Is it any wonder that many are saying that the Crusades were justified and we need a new one to finally eradicate Islam for good? This is the kind of talk I hear walking around this stricken city and reading through mail from around the country. America is angry and the Muslim community is facing its biggest challenge ever.
Oprah Winfrey attempted to explain Islam on a recent show but it will take more than touchy-feely dialogue to dispel the doubts many have. Over and over we hear so-called moderate Muslims claim that the word Islam means "peace," but the word actually means "submit" a command which many Americans are not likely to obey.
I researched as much as possible about the meaning of the word "jihad" for a column I wrote last year after the USS Cole bombing. According to the Ayatollah Morteza Mutahhari of Iran, it means an armed conflict. In his discourse, "Jihad: The Holy War of Islam and its Legitimacy in the Quran.", the Ayatollah writes: " . . . Islam, however, is a religion that sees its duty and commitment to form an Islamic state. Islam came to reform society and to form a nation and government. Its mandate is the reform of the whole world . . . It cannot be without a law of jihad. While the scope of Christianity is extremely limited, that of Islam is extremely wide . . . It has laws which govern the society, economic laws and political laws. It came to organize a state, to organize a government. Once this is done, how can it remain without an army?"
There is a real conflict between leaders in the Muslim community who have a more moderate view of Islam as a religion of peace and harmony and those like the Taliban and Bin Laden who have declared war on us, "the infidels." These leaders must look into their hearts and souls for the true message of Islam. If they do, they will recognize the evil being perpetrated by members of their community upon the innocent throughout the world. The Koran says if a man kills an innocent person, to God it looks like he is killing all innocent people on earth. They must also ask themselves if they have allowed themselves to be bribed by filthy lucre into accepting those who distort the tenets of their faith.
The Koran is too complex and deserves much more detailed study than I could commit to but I did try in vain to find any passage that could possibly justify flying a commercial aircraft into office buildings killing over 5,000 human beings. Denouncing this deed is simply not enough. The clerics of the true faith of Islam should be praying to Allah for courage to fight the necessary civil wars in their nations required to rid the world of terrorists. Countries like Pakistan which have large numbers of radical Muslims within their borders will need help eradicating this poisonous element from their populace and the United States should do everything possible to help.
Muslim leaders must inform their citizens of the truth. Osama Bin Laden is not heroic or even truly Muslim. He has made a mockery of their faith and the proof of that is that some of those suicide bombers spent their last days boozing in the company of lapdancers rather than in solemn prayer.
The time for hypocrisy is over. It is now time for Islamic leaders from all over the world to display an ounce of the courage displayed by those who died rescuing the innocent victims in the World Trade Center. If they refuse then perhaps they deserve whatever contempt is reaped upon them.
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Copyright 2001 by Alicia Colon. Not to be reproduced in any fashion,
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