Saturday, May 01, 2004

Moderate Muslims
Endangered Species

In the posts below, and in more detailed pieces, I have written extensively about Isalm's abject refusal to criticize itself or to even question the actions of its adherents.

At Frontpage Magazine, Daniel Pipes has a very telling piece about a rally that was organized in Phoenix by a Dr. Zuhdi Jasser in order to give moderate Muslims a "an opportunity to speak out publicly". He wrote an Op-Ed in the Arizona Republic that said, in part:

"It is impossible as an American not to feel the growing palpable distrust toward the Muslim community. With attacks targeting innocent civilians across the globe, it has sadly at this time gone far beyond the initial prideful question of 'Why are Muslims being singled out?' It is time now only to rally and provide an unmistakable resounding reply."

Jassar further stated that:

"We want to reassure the American public that the great majority of Muslims condemn the targeting of innocents by virtue of the tenets of our faith. We also want to give hope and inspiration to faithful Muslims all over the country that this type of rally is possible."

His goal, according to the Arizona Republic, was to stage the "the nation's first Muslim rally against terrorism." Though Dr. Jassar's effort is laudable, the very fact that Muslims have made virtually no effort to make such a statement before now is a stunning example of Islam's innate problem.

Pipes explains that Phoenix has a Muslim population of about 50,000 and that Jassar "worked strenuously to reach out to the Valley Council of Imams, Valley mosques and major Valley Islamic organizations; and the Arizona Republic, the leading newspaper of Phoenix, gave the rally its full-fledged support. A head of steam behind him, Jasser optimistically predicted that 500 to 1,000 people would attend the event."

Pipes reports as to the ultimate outcome of the rally:

But then the event was held (an audio of the 50-minute long event can be heard online) and reality set in. Estimates vary. The Arizona Republic counted 250 in attendance, the police 400. The number of Muslims, I heard, was between 30 and 100 persons. Most participants were not Muslim but (the Arizona Republic recounts) "people like Michael Fischer, 18, of Glendale, who wanted to denounce the stereotyping of Muslims; and Grace Clark of Apache Junction, who wanted to promote peace." One correspondent of mine judged the event "a total disaster."

In a "community" of 50,000 Muslims only 30 to 100 were willing to denounce the slaughter of innocents in their name and in the name of their faith. Remember, this was in Phoenix, not Riyadh, not Damascus, not Falluja, but Phoenix, Arizona.

Pipes' article concludes with the faintest whiff of optimism, an optimism that I find difficult to share. In the face of the tidal wave of worldwide Islamic violence, a Muslim community of 50,000 is given the opportunity to denounce it and this is the best they can do?

No, I see no reason for optimism; I see still another chilling example of the magnitude of the problem we face.