Thursday, October 13, 2005

Glimmerings Of Resistance Among Muslims To Terrorism

Two articles on the New York Times Op-Ed Page this week show glimmerings of hope in the Iragi situation in that Muslims themselves in increasing numbers are showing or may soon show revulsion to the murderous conduct of the Sunni extremists.

On Tuesday, Oct. 11, Bernard Haykel, an associate professor of Islamic studies at Nerw York University and a 2005 Carnegie Scholar, writes that growing splits among jihadis "are beginning to undermine the theological and legal justifications for suicide bombings."

Haykel adds, "The simple fact is that many jihadis believe the war in Iraq is not going well. Too many Muslims are being killed. Images of that slaughter, conveyed by satellite television and the Internet throughout the Muslim world, are eroding support for the jihadi cause. There are strong indications from jihadi Web sites and online journals, confirmed by conversations I have had while doing research among Salafis, that the suicide attacks are turning many Muslims against the jihadis altogether."

The internal debate among Muslims points to "the fraying of consensus Al Queda so carefully built over the past decade" and creates opportunities for Western governments combatting it, Haykel concludes.

Then, on Wednesday, Oct. 12, the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman writes that Sunni violence against Shiites is creating a crisis within the Islamic world.

"Western leaders keep saying after every terrorist attack, 'This is not about Islam,'" Friedman writes. "Sorry, but this is all about Islam. It is about a war within Islam between a jihadist-fascist minority engaged in crimes against humanity in the name of Islam, and a passive Sunni silent majority. Many of those Sunnis, I'm sure, are appalled by the violence against Iraqi civilians, but are too afraid, too morally leaderless or too quietly anti-Shiite to act.

"As I said, a civilization that tolerates suicide-genocide will eventually be devoured by its extremists from within -- and quarantined by its friends from abroad."

It's worthy of note that the New York Times, despite its opposition to the Bush Administration in many phases of the war, is much more sensitive to the horrors of the present terrorist campaign than the Los Angeles Times, particularly in comparison the L.A. Times' foolish editorial writers who are too weak to take a stand.

Back in 1940, when Hitler was sweeping over the Low Countries and France, the New York Times did a short editorial one day listing all of his crimes, all of the people who were losing their lives in the war he began, and simply concluded, "Let all these things be entered in the book of his damnation." As eventually they were.

What is going on in the attacks against the Shiites and others, including our own soldiers, in Iraq, and elsewhere in the world in terrorist strikes, is a crime, a crime against which the world must rise in revulsion. Among the opponents must be decent Muslims everywhere.

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