Why Are European Muslims Silent On Terrorism?
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - Europe's Muslims have remained largely silent in the face of terrorist attacks that have killed 254 people in Madrid, London and Amsterdam. Europeans want to know why.
Why have so few of them publicly condemned the train and bus bombings in Madrid and London? Why have so few spoken out against the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, killed because his work was considered an insult to Islam?
Talk to Europe's mainstream Muslims privately, however, and it turns out they have a lot to say.
Seek them out in the neighborhoods where they live and work — in the outdoor markets and butcher shops that sell halal meat, in the book stores that display literature on Islam and the West, in the boutiques that promote Islamic dress codes, in the Turkish restaurants and smoky Tunisian teahouses, in their schools and youth clubs — and they denounce, the vast majority unequivocally, attacks against civilians in both Europe and the United States.
"Van Gogh was a crazy man, but no one has the right to kill anyone who says bad things about the Quran," said Mohammed Azahaf, a 23-year-old student who runs a youth center in Amsterdam. "If you kill one, it's like killing the whole of mankind," he said, quoting a line from the Muslim holy book.
Why, then, the public silence?
For some of the more than five dozen Muslims interviewed for this story in Amsterdam, Paris and London, it's a sense of shame, or even guilt, that innocents have been killed in the name of Islam; they say those feelings make them seek to be "invisible." For those lucky enough to have jobs, there is little time to protest or even write letters to newspapers. For others, there is fear of being branded anti-Islam in their communities.
Dutch Muslim rapper Yassine SB wrote a song about his anger over Van Gogh's murder but scrapped plans to perform it out of fear of being ostracized by the Islamic community. He also turned down requests by a popular Amsterdam radio station to sing a song against terrorism.
"If you sing that, it's like you choose the Dutch, not Muslims," said Yassine SB — the initials stand for his surname Sahsah Bahida — who is popular among Dutch North African youths like himself for his songs against racism.
"People will say 'you are a traitor,'" said the 20-year-old musician.
In the Netherlands, Somali-born Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali — who wrote the script for Van Gogh's movie "Submission" — went into hiding after receiving death threats for her condemnations of Islam. And in the United States, Syrian-born psychologist Wafa Sultan's calls for Islamic reform also earned her death threats.
But there is another reason for the silence — one that for many overrides all others.
Why, many Muslims ask, should they have to speak out against, or apologize for, actions of radicals who do not represent them — people they do not even regard as true Muslims?
Many find the very idea of being asked or expected to denounce such acts "extremely offensive and insulting," said Khurshid Drabu, a senior member of the Muslim Council of Britain.
"I'm British," said Tuhina Ahmed, 24, a British-born Muslim in London whose family came from Gujarat in India. "I could have been blown up as well." Why, she asked, should she have to make a public statement to prove her objection to terrorism?
Exactly because of what Yassine SB said! Because the impression of us Infidels is that you are concerned that you will appear to be with the "Dutch, not Muslims."
Exactly because the Muslim Council of Britain, quoted here asking why they need to denounce terrorism, is so clearly on the side of the terrorists. In fact, all the major - well-funded - Muslim organizations around the world, are clearly on the side of the terrorists.
For instance, here are a sample of articles (from LGF) about the Muslim Council of Britain:
06/10/06 07:56 AM: MCB Leader: British Should Try Arranged Marriages
06/06/06 08:34 AM: Muslim Council of Britain Threatens Violence
06/04/06 04:37 PM: MCB Elects New Front Man
06/02/06 10:16 AM: MPACUK: "We Hope Muslims Will Rise Against the Tyranny"
12/06/05 09:19 AM: Sir Iqbal: Loyalty to UK "Not Incompatible" with Muslims
If the quotes and sentiments in the above Associated Press article are the best the Muslims of the world have to offer in their defense, then I have to say that my patience is just about used up. There is a complete unwillingness to see outside of their own myopic little resentments. There is a complete inability to comprehend the pain of others. There is an, apparent, complete lack of loyalty to anyone outside of the world of Islam.
I am coming very close to believing that Muslims worldwide are either seized by a catastrophic form of denial, or they are almost lockstep in their hatred of anything not Muslim.
I honestly don't know what to say at this point.