Monday, January 24, 2005

Muslims Against Terrorism

The Immam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca:

As millions of faithful marked Eid Al-Adha yesterday, Muslims were warned against heeding militant calls to wage terrorist attacks in the name of Islam.

The warning came, amid a surge in militant attacks in Muslim countries and beyond, from Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, imam of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, while addressing Haj pilgrims in a customary Eid sermon. The imam also advised Islamic scholars to preach moderation to confront this “rotten” phenomenon.

“Islam is the religion of moderation. There is no room for extremism in Islam,” he said.

He called on Muslims to “protect non-Muslims in the Kingdom and not to attack them in the country or anywhere. Islam is a religion of peace that abhors attack on innocents.” Militants were using misguided interpretations of Islam to justify violence, he added.

“Because Muslims have strayed from moderation, we are now suffering from this dangerous phenomenon of branding people infidels and inciting Muslims to rise against their leaders to cause instability,” Al-Sudais said.

“The reason for this is a delinquent and void interpretation of Islam based on ignorance ... faith does not mean killing Muslims or non-Muslims who live among us, it does not mean shedding blood, terrorizing or sending body parts flying.” [Elipses in the Arab News Article]
I am not sure that I quite buy this; my limited reading of the Koran seems to suggest that the terrorists have as strong a case that their views are justified by that document as the immam does that they are not. I would like to see a more peaceful ideology prevail, of course, but I suspect that this is only possible by conversion from Islam, not reformation of it. I am unabashedly basing this prdiction on the premise that Islam is a false religion and, being at war with both God and the truth, cannot help but be at war with fellow men. But that does not mean that I don't hope for some positive results from the Immam's sermon. Just sceptical, that's all.
(Via: Andrew Sullivan)

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