18 February 2009

Indian Muslims take a stand against terrorism!

In today's NYTimes, Tom Friedman editorializes on a very positive development in Muslim public opinion regarding terrorism.

In this case, having Indian Muslims take such a stance is encouraging. They are providing a fine example for other Muslims around the world to do the same. Moderate Muslims, the ones who believe terror in the name of Islam is wrong, are the ones who will bring success.

A couple of quotes worth highlighting here:
    • no local Muslim charity is willing to bury them in its cemetery.

    • the leadership of India’s Muslim community has called them by their real name — “murderers” not “martyrs”

    • “Terrorism has no place in Islamic doctrine. The Koranic term for the killing of innocents is ‘fasad.’ Terrorists are fasadis, not jihadis. In a beautiful verse, the Koran says that the killing of an innocent is akin to slaying the whole community. Since the ... terrorists were neither Indian nor true Muslims, they had no right to an Islamic burial in an Indian Muslim cemetery.” (quoting M.J. Akbar, the Indian-Muslim editor of Covert, an Indian investigative journal)

    • The only effective way to stop this trend is for “the village” — the Muslim community itself — to say “no more.” When a culture and a faith community delegitimizes this kind of behavior, openly, loudly and consistently, it is more important than metal detectors or extra police.
As Friedman points out, India is not a majority Muslim country, but this is encouraging none-the-less as it shows that Muslims are willing to vocally stand against terrorism.

This public action to not bury the murderers follows the fatwah issued by an Islamic seminary last May and reported on a bit more after a November conference of Indian Muslim clerics endorsed the ruling.

It is this kind of thing that needs to get more press, more support, more encouragement, and more praise! It's been said for quite some time that the only real way to beat Islamic terrorism is for Muslims themselves to stand up against it! Having non-Muslims rant about such acts of terror is important: it brings attention and proposes solutions. But having Muslims themselves stand against terror being brought in the name of their religion is significantly more meaningful.

So, thanks Mr. Friedman for bringing attention to this action. Now, will more main stream media cover this positive development - more than just words of Indian Muslims: actions! - or does it not sell? Bloggers, perhaps this is one of those stories that you could bring to better light.

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