Cleaning Islam of its Murderers

It must be said: The time is now for all Muslim clerics of good will, especially within the United States, to band together for a massive public campaign aimed not at convincing non-Muslims of the clerics' own good intentions, but at telling all their fellow Muslims that violent jihad, terrorism, and forced "conversion" (or punishment) of non-Muslims is always and everywhere unacceptable and evil.

If they will not do this, then they are morally complicit in the continuing crimes against humanity represented by the Boston bombing, by 9/11, and by so many other acts of cowardly, sub-human viciousness done in recent years supposedly in the name of Allah.

Some readers might protest that one can't blame the many for the actions of the few. One can't paint all members of a group with the same brush. Just because a known liberal Tweets out obscene photos doesn't make all liberals obscene; just because a known conservative commits adultery doesn't make all conservatives adulterers; and just because some Muslims kill and maim innocent people doesn't make all Muslims murderers.

Fine. Of course. Fairness and logic clearly insist that those innocent of evil not be smeared with the assumption that they are guilty of it. But that's not the argument here.

There is no known conservative who openly advocates adultery as a good thing. There are no liberals who condone Tweeting out obscene pictures to unsuspecting women. There are no texts that conservatives or liberals revere that defend such things, much less which openly advocate violence and murder.  But there are plenty, indeed millions, probably many multiples of millions, of Muslims who subscribe to the tenets of violent jihad. And they don't make it up from thin air; they can, and do, cite plenty of direct exhortations from the Koran that order Muslims to attack, maim, and torture those they consider "infidels" - with Jews and Christians both being specific targets.

As in: "Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them." (Koran 2:191.) And: "Make war on the infidels living in your neighborhood." (Koran 9:123.) And:  "When opportunity arises, kill the infidels wherever you catch them." (Koran 9:5.)  And: "Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticize Islam." (Koran 5:33.)

Those citations come from an e-mail chain I haven't had time to verify, but there are so many (including more from the same e-mail) similar examples that have been so often and accurately cited that it's clear that twisted devotees of Islam can read, or misread, their sacred text in order to justify their heinous activities.

There are no Christian governments that call for eradication of Muslims. There are powerful Muslim governments that openly advocate the destruction of Jews and Christians - and that deliberately carry out such destruction when they get the chance.

While this still does not make it right for all non-Muslims to "profile" all Muslims as terrorists, it does mean that within the Islamic culture there is enough fodder for those Muslims who are haters - fodder believed in so widespread a fashion, with plenty enough "official" support - that it will take a concerted effort, by any Muslim leaders who are of good will, to counteract the evil rot within large swaths of their religion.

(Of course, as I argued last week, no real religion or god could condone such evil - but if millions claim they adhere to a religion that does so, then it is incumbent on others who claim that religion to rescue it, and its victims, from such an evil bastardization of the faith they claim.)

Even for those who aren't directly culpable for errors, crimes, or evil, there comes a time when the prevalence of such evil within the ranks of those who claim a common allegiance becomes so serious that other leaders must act quite publicly to marginalize the extremists.

In this light, it is not enough for Muslim clerics to meekly protest that, well, Islam is supposedly a religion of peace and that they themselves aren't guilty. It is even worse for clerics and other Islamic leaders to spend more time protesting against the "mistreatment," via "profiling," of Muslims than they do to squash the evil in their own midst.

What's necessary now is an open, public, enthusiastic, organized, energetic, emphatic and long-lasting effort by Muslim leaders to eradicate the very idea that their faith, understood correctly, calls for violent jihad or murder. Without such an effort, it is at least arguable that, by their silence and inaction, they in effect become accessories to evil.

All of this evil done in the name of Allah must stop. It is hideous. And if other adherents of Islam won't take the lead in stopping it, they surely will answer to a higher power who demands nothing other than that we love each other and love His creation.

Quin Hillyer is Senior Editor, American Spectator.

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