July 11, 2012
This past month in the Muslim world
Some news items from the Islamic world in the past month:
June 18 (CNN): “A militant Islamist group [Boko Haram, which means “Western culture is forbidden”] claimed responsibility Monday for bombings the day before that the Nigerian Red Cross said left 50 people dead at three Christian churches in Nigeria.
“A suicide bomber drove at high speed through a barricade at the EWCA Goodnews Wusasa Zaria church. ... Within minutes, another explosion occurred at the Christ the King Catholic Church in Zaria. ... At least 10 people died and more than 50 were injured in that attack. ... Later, at least 10 people died in a bombing at a church in the city of Kaduna. ...
“The bombings are the latest in a string of violence directed at Nigerian churches.”
July 4 (BBC): “A Pakistani mob has taken a man accused of blasphemy from a police station and burnt him to death.
“Witnesses said hundreds of people looked on as he screamed for help. Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy law imposes the death penalty for insulting Islam. ... The man was reportedly beaten and dragged to the spot where he is said to have desecrated the Koran. The mob then poured petrol on him and set him on fire, according to witnesses.”
Much of Mali’s history is targeted for destruction by Islamists.
The Sunni Islamist movement, Ansar Dine, which means “Defenders of the Faith,” destroyed the graves of ancient Sufi saints, unearthed the saints’ bodies and threw them into a garbage heap. Ansar Dine did this for the same reason that the Taliban, when they ruled Afghanistan, used anti-aircraft and tank fire to destroy some of mankind’s greatest sculptures, the 1,700-year-old sandstone statues of Buddha. They believe that Islam demands the destruction of anything Muslims deem non-monotheistic.
July 1 (BBC): “Islamist rebels occupying the ancient city of Timbuktu in Mali have vowed to smash every mausoleum, in the face of international protests.”
In his first public speech after being elected president of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi vowed that he would press the United States to release Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, the “blind sheik” who is serving a life sentence for planning the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. The bombing — intended to bring down the building and kill thousands of Americans — killed six Americans and injured more than a thousand.
Morsi is often referred to as a “moderate Islamist.”
Kabul, July 4 (Reuters): “A 30-year-old woman and two of her children were beheaded overnight in Afghanistan’s east, police said, in what appeared to be the latest in a rapidly growing trend of so-called honor killings.”
Kabul, July 7 (Reuters): “A man Afghan officials say is a member of the Taliban shot dead a woman accused of adultery in front of a crowd near Kabul. ... The austere Islamist group dictates law even near the Afghan capital. In the three-minute video, a turban-clad man approaches a woman kneeling in the dirt and shoots her five times at close range with an automatic rifle, to cheers of jubilation from the 150 or so men watching. ... ‘Allah warns us not to get close to adultery because it’s the wrong way,’ another man says as the shooter gets closer to the woman. ‘It is the order of Allah that she be executed.’ ”
This was a typical month.
Why do I note all this?
Certainly not to indict all Muslims. It goes without saying that many millions of Muslims are moral and decent people, and that the great majority of Muslim-Americans are just like other Americans. But among the American media and intellectual elites there is a denial of the evil that permeates the Islamist world. (“Islamist” refers to those Muslims — unfortunately, more than a few — who seek to have Sharia govern societies.) In August 2010, listeners to NPR and viewers of PBS, for example, were told that Islamist violence is no greater than Christian violence.
PBS host Tavis Smiley interviewed Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the ex-Muslim Somali writer and activist for human rights and for women’s rights in Islamic countries. After mentioning American-Muslim terrorist Maj. Nidal Hasan, who murdered 13 soldiers and injured another 30 at Fort Hood, Texas, and Faisal Shahzad, who attempted to murder hundreds in New York’s Times Square, this dialogue ensued:
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Somehow, the idea got into their [Hasan’s and Shahzad’s] minds that to kill other people is a great thing to do and that they would be rewarded in the hereafter.
Tavis Smiley: But Christians do that every single day in this country.
Ali: Do they blow people up?
Smiley: Yes. Oh, Christians, every day, people walk into post offices, they walk into schools, that’s what Columbine is — I could do this all day long. ... There are so many more examples, Ayaan, of Christians who do that than you could ever give me examples of Muslims who have done that inside this country, where you live and work.
Michel Martin of NPR, in discussing whether the Islamic mosque planned for near Ground Zero should be moved, compared the Muslim identity of the 9/11 terrorists to the “Christian identity” of American terrorist Timothy McVeigh: “Did anybody move a Christian church after Timothy McVeigh” bombed the federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995?
And ABC News “20/20” anchor Chris Cuomo tweeted this to his nearly 1 million followers: “To all my christian brothers and sisters, especially catholics — before u condemn muslims for violence, remember the crusades.”
Between the ongoing evil in many parts of the Islamic world and the Westerners who diminish that evil by arguing that Christians do the same thing, we are in trouble.
Dennis Prager’s nationally syndicated radio talk show is heard in Los Angeles on KRLA (AM 870) 9 a.m. to noon. His latest project is the Internet-based Prager University (prageru.com).