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Where are the moderate Muslim leaders?

Reader comment on item: Militant Islam's New Strongholds

Submitted by Tom McCarthy (United States), Oct 23, 2002 at 13:00

Dear Dr. Pipes,

Where are the moderate Muslims you and others write about? Where are the Muslim leaders who dare to speak plainly to their people, to tell them they are on a course for disaster? Every Muslim leader, political and religious, who blames Isamic extremism on American policy towards Arab countries, or on the the Palestinian situation, does his country and his religion a disservice.

America has not declared war on Islam; the opposite is true. Read the editorials of any major Arab newspaper. They are virulently anti-American, insanely anti-Semitic. Reasoned discourse does not exist. Major Muslim newspapers engage daily in blood libel. They quote as truth the 19th century forgery "Protocols of the Elders of Zion." Their hysteria and lies inflame their readers (who suffer from ignorance, abetted by their own governments).

The enemy of Islam is not only Islamic extremism, it is the silence and cowardice of the leaders of Egypt, Iran, Syria and others. The Osama bin Ladens of Islam are fomenting terror with the curiously contradictory aim of igniting war between the West and Islam. In this goal they are succeeding. Every terror attacks hardens Western resolve and earns Islam new enemies. Why do the leaders refuse to see this? Why do they not use their bully pulpits to preach reason to their people?

They seem not to realize the damage extremism is doing to their cause. This is a war they cannot win. The Islamic extremists want to turn back history, to make the world into some mythical Islamic Eden it never was.

They hate technology but use it to serve their terrorist aims. They espouse the purity of their religion but practice it in a way that debases women. They take a rich tradition of learning and distort it by establishing a system of madrassas that teach hatred of the West based on the Koran. A whole generation of Muslims is growing up ignorant of science. history and the arts.

They are doing everything in their power to ensure their eventual destruction. Where are the Muslims leaders who dare to speak the obvious? Our war on terror may turn into a total war on Islam because we won't be able to separate terrorists from the cowardly Muslim governments which support them.

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