The question arises because fanatical Muslims so often seem to murder in the name of God, from the 2004 Madrid train bombing that killed 191 people to the murder of hostages at a cafe in Sydney, Australia, last month. I wrote last year of a growing strain of intolerance in the Islamic world after a brave Pakistani lawyer friend of mine, Rashid Rehman, was murdered for defending a university professor falsely accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammad.
Why does Kristof start in 2004?
One of the biggest events of world terror was in the United States on September 11, 2001. Both the New York City financial center and the Washington, DC military center were targeted and hit. Thousands of people were murdered by Muslim terrorists. The World Trade Center Towers had been bombed before, but surely 9/11 should have been a wake up call for the US and the world.
Let’s also acknowledge that the most courageous, peace-loving people in the Middle East who are standing up to Muslim fanatics are themselves often devout Muslims.
It is really gratifying to hear from Kristof that so many devout Muslims are standing up with expressions of peace, since we have not been hearing them so loud and clear. Guess they are drowned out by lone voices of leaders like Anjem Choudary.
Choudary sets the record straight, he has gone beyond his usual tweeting and spells it out clearly in USAToday:
Contrary to popular misconception, Islam does not mean peace but rather means submission to the commands of Allah alone. Therefore, Muslims do not believe in the concept of freedom of expression, as their speech and actions are determined by divine revelation and not based on people’s desires.
Muslims consider the honor of the Prophet Muhammad to be dearer to them than that of their parents or even themselves. To defend it is considered to be an obligation upon them. The strict punishment if found guilty of this crime under sharia (Islamic law) is capital punishment implementable by an Islamic State. This is because the Messenger Muhammad said, “Whoever insults a Prophet kill him.”
So who should we listen to and believe, Journalist Kristof or Imam Choudary?