I guess we all know of the non-apologetic apology: "I'm sorry if you feel offended". How about the non-condemnatory condemnation?
This is what we've been hearing from a phalanx of Islamic apologists in your pages recently. Syed Ridwan Elahi, of the Muslim Council of Hong Kong, is just the latest in this genre ("Muslim voices against terror drowned out", July 30).
They all claim that they have been condemning terrorism. So why do we "misguided" non-Muslims still complain?
Well, because these so-called condemnations are not really condemnations at all: terrorism is by people "with Muslim names" (that is, they're not real Muslims). Or the terrorists have "distorted" Islam's message (it has nothing to do with Islam). Or terrorism is the fault of the West (that is, because of "our wars of terror in the Middle East").
I would like to see some real honesty from these representatives of Islam, not obfuscation, obscurantism and deflection.
Some brave Muslims – but too few – have addressed this issue front on: selected Koranic doctrines mandate the terrorising and killing of infidels.
Many more Muslims, especially those in leadership positions, need to face up to these doctrines and neutralise them.
No one imagines this will be easy. But the process can't begin until it's acknowledged.
Until then no amount of non-condemnatory condemnation is going to cut the ice.