Muslims “Worry About Image”

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That’s what the Associated Press says. Somehow, it seems like we’ve been down this road before:

Muslims from the Middle East to Britain and Austria condemned Sunday the Mumbai shooting rampage by suspected Islamic militants as senseless terrorism, but also found themselves on the defensive once again about bloodshed linked to their religion.

Yeah, that keeps happening. Funny thing.

Many Muslims said they are worried such carnage is besmirching their religion.

D’ya think? Some Muslims, though, don’t seem to share that concern:

In Islamic extremist Web forums, some praised the Mumbai attacks, including the targeting of Jews.

A man identified as Sheik Youssef al-Ayeri said the killings are in line with Islam.

“It’s all right for Muslims to set the infidels’ castles on fire, drown them with water …. and take some of them as prisoners, whether young or old, women or men, because it is one of many ways to beat them,” he wrote in the al-Fallujah forum.

In the Gaza Strip, the territory’s Islamic militant Hamas rulers declined comment. Hamas has carried out scores of suicide attacks in Israel, killing hundreds of civilians in recent years. However, Hamas has said it does not want to get involved in conflicts elsewhere.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad referred to the attacks as terrorism, but added that the violence is rooted in “unjust policies” aimed at destabilizing the region. He did not elaborate.

No doubt Muslims who actually advocate mass murder are a minority. Some would say that it’s what the majority does, or doesn’t do, that is the problem.

Muslims and Arabs must confront the violence “that is taking place in our name and in the name of our (Islamic) tenets,” wrote Khaled al-Jenfawi, a columnist for Kuwait’s Al-Seyassah daily.

“Unfortunately, we have yet to see a distinguished popular condemnation in the traditional Arab or Muslim communities that strongly rejects what is happening in the name of Islam or Arab nationalism,” wrote al-Jenfawi.

That’s true. So far, most of the world’s Muslims haven’t been embarrassed enough to take any significant action to reform their religion. They have, I think, a remarkably high threshold of embarrassment.

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