Sunday, 30 July 2017

Muslim terror condemnations just so much obfuscation

I guess we all know of the non-apology 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 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 are we "misguided" non-Muslims still complaining?
Well, because these so-called condemnations are not really condemnations at all: terrorism is by people "with Muslim names" (i.e. they're not real Muslims). Or the terrorists have "distorted" Islam's message (i.e. It has nothing to do with Islam). Or terrorism is the fault of the West (i.e. because of "our wars of terror in the Middle East").  
What I'd like to see is 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. The same as has been done with the Bible. 
No one imagines this will be easy. But the process can't begin until it's acknowledged. 
Until then no amount of non-condemnation condemnation is going to cut the ice. 
Pf, etc
Elahi's letter >>
Muslim voices against terror drowned out
In her letter (“No justification for any of these terror attacks”, July 24) Marian Schneps says, “I have to accept that many peaceful followers of Islam do not want to take time to issue an outright condemnation of these ­vicious murders.”
This came despite the letter by Muhammad Arshad, chief imam of Hong Kong (“Terror attacks by deviant foot soldiers can never be justified”, June 9).
A letter by Mohamed Hajamaideen (“Muslims condemn terror and are the biggest victims of its brutality”, June 22) was in reaction to the response to the detailed article by Siddiq ­Bazarwala (“Why must it fall to Muslims to decry terror?”, June 10), which conclusively addresses many of your ­correspondent’s misguided concerns.
Ordinary Muslims and ­Muslim leaders alike have been condemning acts of extremism committed by individuals with Muslim names for as far back as this has been an issue, but these are clearly being drowned out by endless futile calls for the same.
To echo the words of journalist John Pilger: to end terror, it is perhaps best to end our wars of terror in the Middle East.
Syed Ridwan Elahi, vice-chairman, Muslim Council of Hong Kong