The denunciation of terrorism by the Memphis Muslim community referred to by the Flyer 09/20/07 editorial is a welcome development. However, the lack of what they are specifically denouncing leaves one to wonder if this was on purpose. Are they denouncing only Muslim on Muslim terrorism, or Muslim terrorism against the West in general? More specifically, are they denouncing the daily barrage of Hamas mortars that are landing on Sderot Kindergartens in Southern Israel? Are they condemning the Katusah missiles that Hezbollah has aimed at Northern Israel? Israel pulled out of Lebanon and Gaza years ago, so there shouldn’t be a territorial grievance.
Many apologists for Muslim terrorism cloud the argument by saying that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. My definition of terrorism is “ANYONE who wants to influence public policy for a perceived religious, political or territorial grievance - by inflicting pain and suffering upon innocent civilians”.
While Islamic extremists may only be a minority of the 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, it is not an insignificant threat. It is estimated that 10% are extremists, and that 30% are in sympathy with the extremists. That comes out to 150 million extremists and 450 million sympathizers – scattered on every continent and country in the world. More importantly they are connected by the internet, and financed by oil dollars.
There is no doubt that Muslims in America are more moderate and enlightened than their fellow Muslims in the Mideast and in parts of Europe. They came to this country in order to exercise freedoms which are not available in many Mideast countries. I would be interested in hearing more specifics from the Memphis Muslims as it relates to denouncing terrorism in all shapes and forms – not just Muslim on Muslim violence.
By Chris Shaw
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