Why do we (white or non-Muslim Britons) feel the need to hold our Muslim compatriots responsible for the crimes committed by men who happen to share the same faith? Why do we ascribe collective guilt to 2.4 million people for the transgressions of a tiny minority? One of the recurring claims made by Islamophobes is that they never hear the Muslim community speaking out against the extremists. Why aren’t the moderate Muslims out protesting? Where is the voice of moderate Islam denouncing these acts? Silence is treated as complicity or sympathy.
Do we (white or non-Muslim Britons) really have so little trust and so much suspicion that we need the British Muslim community out on the streets apologising for crimes they haven’t committed? Exactly what format do the people baying for these denunciations want them in? Maybe a dedicated freeview channel for Muslim apologies? An SMS messaging service? An RSS news feed? Who exactly should be doing the denouncing? The MCB? Imams? Community leaders? Muslim councillors or politicians?
Normal, law-abiding ie the vast majority of British Muslims will not feel that the likes of Anjem Choudary, the 7/7 bombers or the ‘Muslamic Rape Gangs’ represent them or their community, so why should they be expected to publically distance themselves from them? Are we actually admitting that ‘unless you tell us you’re not a terrorist or rapist we will assume that you are’?
Why is it only Muslims that are subjected to this treatment? Where were the apologies from the white working class when Raoul Moat’s murderous rampage was finally stopped? Where was the Anglo-Saxon community spokesperson denouncing the many white supremacist, neo-nazis that have been caught in recent years? Where was the condemnation from the Afro-Carribean community in the wake of the capture of the Nightstalker Delroy Grant? Why don’t mainstream Christians speak out against the likes of Stephen Green? Maybe they do, maybe they have. I don’t know, because I haven’t looked, because I don’t expect them to.
The same is almost true with the Islamophobes. They haven’t seen the condemnation of terrorism from the Muslim community because they haven’t looked. But it’s there, absolutely tons of it. Why isn’t it published by the Mail, the Star, the Express, the Sun or the NOTW with coverage equal to that of the crimes? Only they can answer that, but I have a hunch.
If the likes of the EDL and other Islamophobes really want to see condemnation of terrorism and extremism from the Muslim community, they don’t have to look too hard. TheAmericanMuslim.org has compiled a comprehensive collection from around the world. There are fatwas and denunciations from Imams, Muftis and leaders from India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Yemen, Qatar, Oman, Iraq, UAE, Kuwait, Mauritania, Bangladesh, Lebanon, Indonesia, Tunisia, Morocco, Malaysia, Iran, Turkey, Chechnya, Bosnia, Russia, Nigeria, Philippines, Palestine, Afghanistan, USA, Sweden, New Zealand, Australia, France, Spain, Belgium, Holland, Germany and Great Britain.
As they explain:
I certainly cannot agree that Muslims – ordinary Muslims, clerics, scholars, religious bodies, political leaders (Sunni and Shiah) have not spoken up. We have collected 105 fatwas from Islamic scholars, 75 statements by Islamic Organizations (many of these signed by anywhere from 50 to 500 scholars from around the world), and 142 statements by individual Muslims. They speak clearly against terrorism, suicide bombing, kidnapping, harming civilians, harming places of worship, weapons of mass destruction. They clarify the Islamic position on minority rights and apostasy. Some directly condemn al-Qaeda and bin Laden, and specific acts like 9/11 or the Madrid bombing. There is almost no issue involving terrorism, extremism, or injustice that has not been addressed. Most Islamic scholars have spoken clearly.
Let’s not tolerate this conspiracy of silence bullshit, because it’s not true. But the more lies are perpetuated they very quickly become fact.