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July 29, 2005

On Meetings and Fatwas

My favorite American Muslims traveled to the Capitol to meet with Tom Tancredo on Wednesday. They didn't manage to get any farther than anyone else with Nuclear Tom, but they did manage to show a remarkable amount of patience in doing so.

Coalition member Ahmad Subhy Mansor, an imam who attended the meeting, said, "If I were in his place, an American congressman concerned about Americans being killed by terrorists, I would say the same thing as the congressman."

Just about the only thing Tancredo has done right in this whole mess is to stiff CAIR, refusing to meet with the little Hamas-niks. By meeting with Nawash, he may also be trying to boost Americans who act like it.

Still, having seen the way Jewish organizations treat each other, this scenario is dismayingly familiar:

Underlying the controversy is a dispute over who truly represents moderate Muslims.

Nawash, who ran unsuccessfully for the Virginia Senate in 2003 as a Republican and frequently appears on cable news shows, says his was the first U.S. Muslim group to thoroughly denounce terrorism.

He says his group has 9,500 members. But when he put together what was billed as Washington's first Muslim-led rally against terrorism in May, he drew only a few dozen people.

"His constituency, you could put it in a phone booth," said Mahdi Bray of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation.

Nawash dismisses such criticism as part of a petty rivalry. "There's no one group that represents all Muslims in America," Nawash said.

I would point out that thus far, it's the only Muslim-led rally against terrorism. The only Muslims other anti-terror rallies managed to attract out here have to be kept on the other side of the Thin Blue Line to keep them from painting the town red, so to speak.

And CAIR rejects criticism that it doesn't represent moderate Muslims or that it hasn't condemned terrorism.

"We rack our brains every day trying to think of new ways to denounce terrorism," Hooper said. "I don't know what more the American Muslim community can say about terrorist attacks by people who claim to represent Islam."

Poor Ibrahim Hooper. Now, I will say this fatwa is better than nothing, but not much, not this late in the game. Go ahead and read it.

Welcome back. First, what's right with it.

  • It's the first inward-directed statement I've seen. It's a fatwa, a real live, honest-to-Allah religious document, as opposed to the signs, and the fairly bland political statements CAIR manages to choke out in-between curses.
  • It specifically singles out suicide bombings.
  • It specifically requires cooperation with the police
  • It doesn't mention Israel. For instance, it doesn't say, "no matter what the provocation by the Zionist entity, nothing can justify..." No conditions.

    Now, what's wrong with it.

  • It doesn't mention Israel. Why is this bad? Because generally, these folks don't consider Israelis civilians, but in a ironic twist worthy of O. Henry, Crusaders.
  • It doesn't list enough specifics. Acts which are currently being celebrated by the Wahhabists and Moslem Brotherhood are left mentioned only by implication. In the past, contemporaneous statements condemning this or that attack have been generic and bland, and almost always contain the word "but." Here was a chance to say that Bus 19 wasn't just a tactical mistake, but immoral.
  • It doesn't list a non-exhaustive list of specific acts that are forbidden. I believe a major Western document does this.
  • I don't know if such a thing is permitted in a fatwa, but it also doesn't mention any punishment for getting mixed up in one of these forbidden acts. I do know Salman Rushdie's punishment was pretty specific.
  • There's enough wiggle room that a woman who wants to keep a driver's license photo from showing her face, pretty much defeating the point of the photo, is still allowed. CAIR may complain about this being brought up. Well, they started it.

    Look, Ibrahim Hooper may be wracking his poor, addle-pated brain trying to think of new ways to condemn terrorism, but he clearly hasn't bothered to ask what kind of things would work. Why not? Too degrading? Too bad. They and their multicultural apologists expect us to "engage" them so we can calculate just the right amount of subserviance in any statements we make, laws we pass, or wars we fight.

    But then, they didn't ask me.

    UPDATE: Steven Emerson is even harder on the fatwa than I am.

    Posted by joshuasharf at July 29, 2005 12:47 AM | TrackBack

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