I wrote this as a result of a link provided on Doc Vega's thread by Safe Bet's Amy. I advised her to write a post about this but I don't think she's been back to the thread since, so I don't know if she saw my suggestion or how she would have reacted to it. However, I think the link is of sufficient importance to warrant a post, so I'll write one, whether she decides to do so or not. In any case, thanks to SBA for the link.
This is a good question. Why don't we hear about Muslims condemning terrorism?
Some will tell you that it's because Muslims don't condemn terrorism, that we don't hear because so many Muslims approve of terrorism. They assume that if they don't hear about it, it isn't happening.
It is happening, it's just not being reported in the Western press. Let me give you an idea of the scale on which it is not being reported.
The following comes to us from the Huffington Post, and it originated with the Times of India.
What I'm about to describe came about because of an occurrence at an annual South Asian Sunni Muslim conference in India. We might normally think of the Middle East when we think of Islam, not South Asia, but in terms of sheer numbers that's a major mistake. The four countries with the world's largest Muslim populations are all in South Asia: India, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. I sourced this from the Malaysian Digest and a Pew report; they put the countries in different orders but those were the top four in both.
This is, to put it mildly, a big conference. One and a half million attendees signed a document protesting terrorism. (You might want to repeat that last sentence to yourself.) In conjunction with this conference, nearly seventy thousand Muslim clerics issued a joint fatwa against global terrorist organizations. ISIS, the Taliban, and Al Qaida are all on their list. (This is not the first such fatwa they've ever issued, just the biggest - the first was issued seven years ago.)
Being Jewish, I tried to think of this in Jewish terms. Let's see,
"Nearly seventy thousand rabbis issued a joint...."
We've hit a brick wall already. No reason to go any further. The theoretical idea of seventy thousand rabbis agreeing enough to issue a joint anything is pretty funny.
Actually, we've hit two brick walls, and it's the other one that's really interesting. It's earlier in the phrase: "Nearly seventy thousand rabbis." How many rabbis are there in the world?
Trying to extrapolate that has been difficult. The only source I could find as to the number of American rabbis is from an article dating from 1999:
It was an article about shortages of rabbis in all movements. Between the Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform movements, the total number of American rabbis that year was 4,300. I assume it's gone up because there was demand. Let's say it's at 5,000 now. Another source puts the US Jewish population at 5.7 million, a current source, and they estimate the worldwide Jewish population to be, depending on who you count, at up to 16 million with the least restrictive definition in place. In any case, more than a third of the world's Jews are here. Assuming that the proportion of rabbis to Jews is similar when averaged among most of the world's population, which may be a bad assumption, that would put the world's population of rabbis at maybe 15,000. Let's say 17,000 just to be pretty sure we don't underestimate the number of rabbis.
Let's get this straight:
A group of Muslim clerics at least quadruple the size of the worldwide population of rabbis issues an anti-terrorism fatwa and this doesn't rate American news coverage?
Who the Hell decided that this wasn't worth reporting? Don't you find it peculiar that we weren't told about this a week ago when it happened?
It has to be insanely frustrating to be a Muslim condemning terrorism on a regular basis, only to be ignored and, worse, criticized for not condemning terrorism. And it's something we've seen over and over. We saw it very much with Imam Rauf in the whole so-called Ground Zero Mosque flap. The New York Times happened to do a major article on him and, once I understood exactly who was facing all this opposition, it became apparent just how insane the opposition was.
We watch all these myths about ordinary Muslims favoring terrorism. There's the recent bit about Trump saying that thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrated in public when the WTC was knocked down on 9/11, which of course wasn't true. There was the news report in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 showing Iranians in the streets of Tehran protesting that act of terrorism, a report that disappeared from rotation very, very quickly.
A few years ago, I found a link buried in a J Street bulletin and followed the link. The link here is to a post I wrote about this. It concerned a terrorist action on March 11, 2011, in the West Bank settlement of Itamar where most of a family, including some children, were stabbed to death. Palestinian officials reacted by saying it was tragic but that the settlements provoked such things. So an Israeli reporter took a TV camera and went to a mall in Nablus, a city on the West Bank known for hard line attitudes about Israel, and he started interviewing people in the mall about the stabbings. All of them, all of them, condemned the action, some saying it was a violation of Islam. They thought it was terrorism and none of them hesitated to condemn the murders on camera. Their officials may have equivocated but they did not. When the reporter brought this back and showed it on Israeli television, the other TV journalist in the room was visibly shocked. It went against everything they'd been led to believe, and they're actually there.
Though I think it's great that J Street (a liberal Jewish organization in favor of a two state solution that emphasizes Palestinian rights) published the link, why were they so stupid as to bury it? If you want peace, that knowledge helps the cause.
Do you think that information about seventy thousand Muslim clerics issuing a fatwa against Al Qaida, ISIS, and the Taliban should at least be acknowledged in Presidential candidate debates about Muslim immigration? I'm willing to bet that few if any of the candidates are even aware of it.
I'll finish this post with a link I got from a friend. A British war veteran by the name of Chris Herbert got part of his leg blown off in Iraq. A British Islamophobic group tried to recruit him. He replied on Facebook. I'll let his words finish this post; they're far more powerful than mine:
Getting frustrated by some people expecting racism from me, because I got blown up. Here it is:
Yes. A Muslim man blew me up, and I lost my leg.
A Muslim man also lost his arm that day wearing a British Uniform.
A Muslim medic was in the helicopter that took me from the field
A Muslim surgeon performed the surgery that saved my life
A Muslim Nurse was part of the team that helped me when I returned to the UK
A Muslim Healthcare Assistant was part of the team that sorted out my day to day needs in rehabilitation when I was learning to walk
A Muslim taxi driver gave me a free ride the first time I went for a beer with my Dad after I came home.
A Muslim doctor offered my Dad comfort and advice in a pub, when he didn't know how to deal with my medicines and side effects.
Contrary to that, A white brit spat in my girlfriends face for 'fucking a cripple when you could have me [him]'
A White brit pushed my wheelchair away from a lift so he could use it first.A White brit screamed at my Dad for parking in a disabled bay when I was in the services coming home(Although, alot of people helped in my recovery!
I dont hate white brits either! hahaha)Point is, f*ck off.
I know who I dislike, and I know who I don't. I know who I appreciate, and I know who I dont. If you want to hate an entire race of men and women for the actions of a few d*ckheads feel free, but don't push your views on me, thinking I am an easy target because one douchebag decided it was my day to die.
Blaming all Muslims for the actions of groups like Daeshe and the Taliban, is like blaming all Christians for the actions of the KKK or Westboro Baptist Church. Get a grip of your lives, hug your family and get back to work.