IHT-Muslim radical shows moderation, or at least tact
TRIPOLI, Lebanon: There was a time when Omar Bakri Mohammed embodied every stereotype of the jihadi extremist. From his perch in London, he threw around words like "kafir" - infidel - to describe Christians and Jews and openly praised the bombers of Sept. 11, 2001.
But sitting recently in his new library overlooking Mount Lebanon in this northern city, with a bloody battle raging between the Lebanese Army and the Qaeda-inspired Fatah al Islam at a Palestinian refugee camp a few kilometers away, Bakri presented himself as a changed man. Whether the shift is as meaningful as he asserts is an open question.
He speaks of peace, decrying the unnecessary use of violence and emphasizing the sanctity of life.
The death of innocents, he says, has to be curtailed.
And the definition of INNOCENT goes unasked by the International Herald Tribune. WHY?
"I want to support Muslims by saving their blood and their life," Bakri said, as he began outlining his efforts to help negotiate a settlement to the confrontation in the camp. "My job is to calm the fighting and to open a dialogue."
Is it me, or is the failure of the MSM to ask the right questions (probably, according to Tom Friedman, out of fear) becoming a bore?