Thursday, November 17, 2005

Finger on the pulse

Putting the finger on the pulse

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has exposed one of the key elements in the so-called phenomenon of terrorism in the Muslim World. During a visit to Jordan as an expression of the UAE's solidarity with the Hashemite kingdom following the despicable bombings there on Oct.9 that killed dozens of innocent people, including women and children who were attending the joyous occasion of a wedding reception, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed criticised Islamic religious leaders and scholars for not speaking up and taking faith-based action against terorrists.
"There should be a firm stand by Islamic clerics and scholars who live among us against this terrorism," he said. "If they do not declare them (terrorists) apostate, the least they could do is to drive them out of the faith."
"We should ask ourselves a genuine question and say if there is not going to be a sincere stand against such irreligious and inhuman acts, they will flourish. Personally, I blame the clerics and Islamic scholars who live among us and with us.," he said.
The Abu Dhabi Crown Prince put the finger on the pulse when he pointed out that terrorism "came to us in the name of Islam, so there is no point trying to throw it in other direction. We should be the ones who should confront and resist it."
Inherent in Sheikh Mohammed's words were the reminder that only a handful of Islamic scholars and religious leaders have actually spoken up against terrorism carried out in the name of Islam and denounced it as unacceptable to the faith no matter what.
Others might have many reasons for not speaking up, but there could not be any justification for remaining silent at a time the faith is being targeted for assault on many fronts, including its gross misuse by terrorists. That was one of the messages that Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed wanted to convey in his frank statements.
It is a strong reminder to Muslim religious leaders in authority that they have the responsibility to adopt an unwavering stand against terrorism in the name of religion and should ex-communicate those Muslims who carry out heinous attacks and hide behind the smoke-screen of Islam.
That is the least the religious leaders and scholars could do to help the fight against terrorist actions that has come to be very conveniently but mistakenly termed as "Islamic terrorism."