July 10, 2005

JOSEPH BRAUDE WRITES IN THE NEW REPUBLIC about Muslim groups’ slow and inadequate response to the London bombings:

Yesterday’s attack on the British people gave Muslims everywhere a chance to distance themselves from the radical Islamists who claim to have perpetrated it. While Muslim governments have taken the opportunity to speak out against the killing of innocents, Muslim Brotherhood offshoot groups failed to rise to the challenge. What they offered instead were statements full of equivocation–in marked contrast to other Arab politicians.

Not impressive at all.

UPDATE: Of course, as Nick Cohen notes in The Observer, lots of people have been unimpressive on this front:

In these bleak days, it’s worth remembering what was said after September 2001. A backward glance shows that before the war against the Taliban and long before the war against Saddam Hussein, there were many who had determined that ‘we had it coming’. They had to convince themselves that Islamism was a Western creation: a comprehensible reaction to the International Monetary Fund or hanging chads in Florida or whatever else was agitating them, rather than an autonomous psychopathic force with reasons of its own. In the years since, this manic masochism has spread like bindweed and strangled leftish and much conservative thought.

All kinds of hypocrisy remained unchallenged. In my world of liberal London, social success at the dinner table belonged to the man who could simultaneously maintain that we’ve got it coming but that nothing was going to come; that indiscriminate murder would be Tony Blair’s fault but there wouldn’t be indiscriminate murder because ‘the threat’ was a phantom menace invented by Blair to scare the cowed electorate into supporting him. . . .

But it’s a parochial line of reasoning to suppose that all bad, or all good, comes from the West – and a racist one to boot. The unavoidable consequence is that you must refuse to support democrats, liberals, feminists and socialists in the Arab world and Iran who are the victims of Islamism in its Sunni and Shia guises because you are too compromised to condemn their persecutors.

Islamism stops being an ideology intent on building an empire from Andalusia to Indonesia, destroying democracy and subjugating women and becomes, by the magic of parochial reasoning, a protest movement on a par with Make Poverty History or the TUC.

Again, I understand the appeal. Whether you are brown or white, Muslim, Christian, Jew or atheist, it is uncomfortable to face the fact that there is a messianic cult of death which, like European fascism and communism before it, will send you to your grave whatever you do. But I’m afraid that’s what the record shows.

Yes, and were it spread by Christians, these people woudl have no trouble recognizing it for what it is. It’s only the peculiar strain of anti-Westernism that infects so many people in the West that makes it hard to notice, I think.

Meanwhile, Charles Moore wonders, “Where is the Gandhi of Islam?” Read the whole thing.

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