Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Free Muslims Against Terrorism

Is Islam really a "Religion of peace" ("RoP" in blogtalk)? Osama and his ilk promise to kill us all and anyone else, including Muslims, who disagrees with them. They do this in the name of Allah and quote Islamic justifications for the unjustifiable. Certainly most Muslims lead non-violent lives, and many are disgusted by the jihadis. Unfortunately, there are also large numbers of Muslims who support the jihadis directly or tacitly sympathize with them.

Too many Muslim organizations in the West focus mainly on protecting Islam from negative reactions that are the consequences of actions carried out by Muslims in the name of Islam. While groups like CAIR give some lip service to condemnation of terrorism, it's clear they see their main duty as Defending the Faith and the Faithful against "anti-Muslim bias." They reflexively reject any anti-terrorism measures that impact any Muslims. When a Coptic Christian family in New Jersey was brutally executed in the same ritualistic fashion used by Muslims against Copts in Egypt, CAIR was there right away to insist there is no reason to suspect religion was involved in any way.

The group Free Muslims Against Terrorism seems to be a completely different sort of organization.
"Muslims against terrorism and extremism
The Free Muslims Against Terrorism is a nonprofit organization made up of American Muslims and American Arabs of all backgrounds who feel that religious violence and terrorism have not been fully rejected by the Muslim community in the post 9-11 era.

Free Muslims was created to eliminate broad base support for Islamic extremism and terrorism and to strengthen secular democratic institutions in the Middle East and the Muslim World by supporting Islamic reformation efforts.

Free Muslims promotes a modern secular interpretation of Islam which is peace-loving, democracy-loving and compatible with other faiths and beliefs. Free Muslims' efforts are unique; it is the only mainstream American-Muslim organization willing to attack extremism and terrorism unambiguously. Unfortunately most other Muslim leaders and organizations believe that when it comes to terrorism, the end justifies the means.

Other Americans have spoken up against terrorism, but never before has this message come with such clarity from Muslims or Arabs. Muslims are the only ones who can solve the problem of terror in Islam, and sadly until the founding of this Coalition, they were the only group who had not definitively spoken up against the use of terror.

Please join Free Muslims. We welcome all, whether Muslim, Christian or Jewish.

Taking our religion back one Muslim at a time
We believe in the re-interpretation of Islam for the 21st century where terrorism is not justified under any circumstances.
We believe in the separation of religion and state.
We believe that democracy is the best form of government.
We believe in the promotion of secularism in all forms of political activity.
We believe that equality for women is an inalienable right.
We believe that religion is a personal relationship between the individual and his or her God and is not to be forced on anyone."
This is a very welcome, forthright approach to the situation, and we applaud Free Muslims Against Terrorism. Until Muslims forcefully reject jihadism and violence in the name of Islam wherever it occurs, the world will continue to be subject to this scourge. If Muslim groups in the West will not do this, can those in the Muslim countries be expected to behave differently?

Last night we were at a concert listening to a Modest Mouse song that is (mildly) critical of God, calling Him a "control freak." It occurred to us that no sane Christian is likely to find this to be grounds for killing the group (or the crowd for singing along). Moreover, if some deranged lunatic did kill anyone in in the name of Christ for this "blasphemy," it would be universally, immediately, rightly condemned by Christians. We look forward to the day when the same can be said for Muslims.

We hope that with the leadership of Free Muslims Against Terrorism and increased freedom in the Middle East, Muslims can drive violence out of Islam. Muslims, after all, have the most to gain from the change.

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