Cheat-Seeking Missles

Friday, September 08, 2006

A Flawed Call From OC Imam

Muzammil Siddiqi, right, imam at the Orange County Islamic Center in Garden Grove, was in Washington DC on 9/11. He and four other Muslim clerics were to meet with President Bush that afternoon -- a meeting that obviously didn't happen.

Siddiqi stayed in DC and participated in the national prayer service at the National Cathedral a few days later.

Today, the OCRegister has an interview with Siddiqi. I trust he is speaking his true feelings in it, and that his views reflect those of a majority of Muslims -- but without a backlash against the Islamofascists, I have my doubts.

Nonetheless, for the most part he speaks beautifully:

Q. When did you realize what was actually going on?

A. In a few minutes ... the news came that it was a terrorist attack. But at that time we still didn't know who was behind it. (When we found out) it was a double pain for Muslims: the pain of all the human suffering and the pain that some people did this in the name of Islam. Then I received the call from the White House about the prayer service at the National Cathedral. Myself and Billy Graham and others were there. I said that we are all angry, but that it was a time to be attending to God to help us. ...

Q. What have you learned? What is important for us all to know?

A. My personal feeling is that one has to be very careful in one's words and deeds. Whatever I say, I should always keep in mind that I should not say anything that creates anger or evil. In the Quran, Chapter 117, Verse 53, God says: "Say to my servants they should only say those things that are best, for Satan does sow dissention among them." And then in Chapter 5, Verse 32, the one so often quoted: "Whosoever kills one person unjustly, it is the same as killing all of mankind, and whosoever saves one life has saved all of mankind."

Q. What should we be doing?

A. We should build better relations and understanding. Establish justice among the people. Find the other difficulties among us and remove them. We should build bridges of understanding between people of faith and people of different cultures.

But he was also asked what we can learn from the 9/11 tragedy, and answered, "We all have to be very careful about what we say and what we do. A small group of people can create havoc for everyone. It is wrong to accuse the whole Muslim community and the whole religion for what happened. We have condemned these actions."

Unsatisfactory in word and action. We see no condemnation, and we resent that the Imam's answer wasn't, "We have learned that our religion is being stolen by people who live by a portion of our Holy Book, which does seem to justify their actions, and ignore other parts, which condemn what they do. Islam must deal with this because there is too much evangelism by blood in our history and it cannot continue."

No such words come, so we are left with a flawed religion unwilling to fix itself.

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