“I think it is the responsibility of the leaderships of mosques to be more connected to the congregations, to make communities safe on an individual basis, and to keep an eye out for people under stress and make sure they channel it in a nonviolent way.”
Abdul Malik Mujahid, chairman of the Chicago-based Council on Islamic Relations
People who commit terrorism in the name of Islam are “criminals, not ‘martyrs,” according to a powerful religious edict, called a fatwa, issued Thursday by leading American scholars of Islamic law.
Today in Chicago, Muslim leaders from throughout the city and suburbs will underscore that not only is violence against innocents forbidden, it’s the duty of Muslim leaders to dissuade, speak out against and even report to police anyone in their community they suspect of inciting violence or preparing to commit violence.
“We go beyond condemnation,” said Abdul Malik Mujahid, chairman of the Chicago-based Council on Islamic Relations, which will be leading this morning’s endorsement of the fatwa by a host of local mosques and foundations, as well as the civil rights group Council on Islamic-American Relations.
This is a good step and I applaud it. If this exhortation would be echoed around the world in terms just as strong, Islamist terrorism would be severly curtailed. That isn't going to happen just yet, and the fact that it won't is a cause for grave concern but this is a step forward.
I do believe that Islam is a worthy religion. It has forgotten how to police itself and how to prevent distorted, dangerous heresy from masking itself as piety. Eventually it will remember, and regain it's place as a noble force for good. Until then, many more innocents will suffer.
The best thing we can do to help is call a spade a spade. We must denounce terror. We must support democracy in the middle east. We do these things because they are the right thing to do.
And most of all, we must demonstrate again and again that we will not be cowed by brutal thugs with an ideology of death.