>> 6 Oct 2004


"By refusing to come out with a categorical rejection of terrorism, Muslim leaders and opinion-makers are helping perpetuate a situation in which no one is safe. The 9/11 attacks against the United States were based on the claim, made by al Qaeda's No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, that all citizens of democratic countries could be murdered because, being actual or potential voters, they have a share of responsibility for the policies of their governments."

Iranian journalist Amer Taheri has a great take here on Opinion Journal on the Muslim debate on hostage-taking and beheading.

He adds, " Yet even more disturbing is the attitude of Muslim organizations in France and Britain. Both have sent delegations to Iraq to contact the terrorists and ask for the liberation of two French, and one British, hostages. The French delegation, led by Mohamed Bechari, went out of its way to advertise France's "heroic opposition" to the Iraq war in 2003. "I am here to defend France's Arab policy," Mr. Bechari told reporters. "In Iraq as well as in Palestine, France is for the Arabs."

The two British Muslim delegates made their case in a different way by arguing that, although Britain participated in toppling Saddam Hussein, a majority of the British were opposed to the war. Thus British hostage Ken Bigley should be released not because hostage-taking is wrong but because such a move could strengthen anti-war sentiment in Britain."

Quite right.


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