Jewish Journal

Muslims express ‘outrage’ over NY terror plot

by Brad A. Greenberg

May 21, 2009 | 7:52 pm

The four Muslim men arrested yesterday for allegedly trying to bomb New York synagogues and shoot down a plane with a SCUD missile “wanted to commit jihad,” New York police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

“More information about their motives I’m sure will be developed as the case progresses, but right now they stated they wanted to make jihad. They were disturbed about what was happening in Afghanistan and Pakistan, that Muslims were being killed,” Kelly said. “They were making statements that Jews were killed in this attack and that would be all right—that sort of thing.”

Terrorism, whose origin has, like so many ugly things, been blamed on the Jews, is not something that Islam justifies. But terrorism is something political players who use Islam as a vehicle have mechanized. How else can you explain the 2007 Pew Research Center findings that 26 percent of Muslims age 18-29 think that suicide bombings can be justified?

“I would have to say it’s actually like 60 or 65 percent of the youth,“ the Long Beach MSA leader told me at the time. “It’s very rare that I meet someone who says suicide bombings in Palestine are not justified.“

And so Muslim American advocacy groups are strongly sensitive to the backlash that has, in the past, followed terror attacks and also foiled plans.

Today the Muslim Public Affairs Council released a statement affirming the organization’s “outrage over NYC synagogue plots.” The statement included an excerpt from a letter Salam Al-Marayati, its executive director, sent to Rabbi Marc Schneier of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding:

“I write to you today with shock and dismay over reports that four Muslims planned to bomb synagogues in the New York City area. This criminal attitude is reprehensible and wretched. On behalf of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, I want to demonstrate solidarity with you and all Jewish Americans against any attack motivated by anti-Semitism. We, Muslims and Jews, are all believers in the One God who wants justice in our society. We are all American citizens who band together to protect our country against any threat. We are all members of humanity who want to work for the betterment of society, in building bridges of understanding, against those who want to destroy those bridges. Thank you for all the work you do at the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding. I hope to be with you in the near future by the will of God.”

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