Skip to comments.I'm done with the 'George Bush made me do it' excuse
Posted on 07/25/2005 11:33:21 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
The July 7 London bombings did it for me. Perhaps it was because my parents moved us from Cairo to the British capital when I was 7 years old, and so London was my childhood "home." Or maybe it was because our route to work and school every morning crisscrossed those same Underground stations that were targeted.
I'm sure it was also those dog-eared statements that our clerics and religious leaders read out telling us that Islam means peace it actually means submission and asking us to please forget everything they had ever said before July 6, because as of July 7 they truly believe violence is bad. Their backpedaling is so furious you can smell the skid marks.
Some are not even bothering to put their feet on the pedals, such as the 22 imams and scholars who met at London's largest mosque to condemn the bombings but who would not criticize all suicide attacks.
Sayed Mohammed Musawi, the head of the World Islamic League in London, insisted that "there should be a clear distinction between the suicide bombing of those who are trying to defend themselves from occupiers, which is something different from those who kill civilians, which is a big crime."
In a classic example of laying blame everywhere but at our own door, Musawi actually criticized the Western media (for supposedly confusing frustrated young Muslims) rather than those scholars who had blessed suicide bombings as long as they targeted Israelis.
Suicide bombings are the Muslim weapon of choice not only in London and Israel but in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. They are killing Muslims and non-Muslims alike, and yet our imams and scholars cannot condemn them.
As I said, the London bombings did it for me. Or maybe it's the knowledge that the more these faceless cowards strike, the more Muslim men in the West like my brother are pushed onto the stage of suspicion. After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Ehab who spends virtually all of his time caring for his cardiology patients or fulfilling his role as husband and father was one of the 5,000 Muslim men questioned by the FBI; two years later he was among the thousands more who had to submit to being fingerprinted and photographed as part of a special registration.
But most of all, the London bombings rid me of all patience with the excuse that "George Bush (or Tony Blair or take your pick of Western leaders) made me do it." We don't know who was behind last week's explosions, but an Arab analyst told a satellite channel that if Tony Blair hadn't learned the mistake of the Iraq war, these new attacks were a firm reminder.
I never bought the explanation that U.S. foreign policy had "brought on" the Sept. 11 attacks, and I certainly don't buy the idea that the Iraq war is behind the attacks in London. Many people across the world have opposed U.S. and British foreign policy, but that doesn't mean they are rushing to fly planes into buildings or to blow up buses and Underground trains in London.
I was against the invasion of Iraq and would not have voted for George Bush if I were a U.S. citizen, but I'm done with the "George Bush made me do it" excuse. We must accept responsibility for this mess if we are ever to find a way out.
And for those non-Muslims who accept the George Bush excuse, I have a question: Do you think Muslims are incapable of accepting responsibility? It is racist or at least in some way bigoted to think that Muslims can only react violently.
There are a host of difficult questions we all must ask. How about beginning by acknowledging once and for all that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not a Muslim issue? It is a dispute over land that too many clerics and religious leaders, radical or otherwise, use to flesh out the victimized-Muslim scenario. Yes, Palestinians deserve a state, and, yes, Israel must end its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. But rather than dwelling endlessly on these issues, we would do well to spend some time encouraging our young people to become more active members of their communities and to not live caught between two worlds: a Muslim one at home and in the mosque, an "infidel" one outside.
And what about assimilation? It is not bigoted to ask Muslims if they are integrating into the societies they are living in. Just as the British government has responsibilities toward its citizens, immigrants included, so too do those immigrants. Muslims ask for time off work for prayer, for example, and they often get it. But are they truly living in Britain or are they perpetuating an existence that even their relatives "back home" long ago left behind? Domestic policy is too often ignored by many Muslims who are more concerned with Palestine, Iraq or any other place where Muslims are believed to have suffered injustice.
I raise these questions because London might have done it for me, but I'm not done with Islam. The clerics and the terrorists will not take it away from me. God belongs to me, too.
Eltahawy is a New York-based columnist for the pan-Arab Asharq al-Awsat. Her Web site is at www.monaeltahawy.com.
This was interesting, thanks for posting!!
Pointless .*** .Some Arabs, frustrated by their culture's economic, political and technological backwardness, no doubt long for an Islamic ascendancy, one that would teach the Western democracies a lesson. Some even speak of restoring the caliphate that during the Middle Ages controlled much of the Mediterranean world.
At this point, one speculation about the perpetrators of terrorism and their aims is about as good as another. One impression, however, is gaining strength: The savage and unconscionable nature of the suicide attacks on innocent civilians particularly in Iraq, where a group of children was singled out for destruction seems to be alienating all but the most committed zealots and mass murderers.***
Too far and few between, that's my take on this.
It's a good read, but we should be reading hundreds of articles like this daily, not one per week or two.
The Muslim world should be up in arms at the thrashing their faith is taking in world public opinion. Instead we get a few cornered Imams making a few CYA remarks that will fade away faster than redness from 15 minutes in the sun.
It is a global scandal, that the Muslim world has thus far stood by and accepted what is being perpetrated on their behalf, in almost unanimous stone cold silence.
It's not going unnoticed here. We've got your number Islam. It's a big fat zero when it comes to operating in the civilaztion that is 2005, not 1205.
They should be marching in the streets.
I guess they know what these murderers are capable of.
But avoiding the truth and not standing up to murderers only serves the murderers.
It does serve the murderers. And frankly, it serves those who would seek to destroy Islam, far more than those who profess the disire to protect it. But of course, those are the exact same people these days, and Islam is blind to it.
Yes they should be marching in the streets.
Thanks for the response.
You are so correct.
It is self destruction.
A suicide by cop scenario.
interesting. possibly even encouraging. I cannot but wonder how long it will be before this author has a death-fatwa on her head.
I only wish I saw as much outrage and visible response as I did over the phony Koran in the toilet issue. But I guess a book is more important than mere human lives to some.
I think that is a huge part of the problem.
They use terror to keep people cowed.
But if there are millions upon millions who oppose this form of Islam, they need to rise up and say so.
It's different when it's your ox being gored.
Thank you for the photo.
perhaps a policy as follows might prod them to stand?
I imagine the idea of such reprisal has caught the attention of Muslims who, up until now, have been just sitting back and watching the "show."
well, their cult IS tied directly to a material fetish object at a known fixed geographical location.
this is their cult's achilles heel.
It is LONG past time they were reminded that we are aware of this fact, and fully capable of taking permanent corrective measures should the need arise.
Though I believe Tancredo errs in thinking Mecca should be the *immediate* reprisal target, I thank him for putting the ugly guts of the thing on the table.
not "decimated" (reduced by one out of ten)
ANIHILATED. REDUCED TO NOTHING.
Truth and fanaticism don't mix.
Whenever you have to put 'Sanity' in your name it usually means you're not.