Monday, November 27, 2006

Muslims Not Permitted to Criticize Other Muslims

My post headline is not exactly true. In full it should read, "Muslims are not permitted to criticize other Muslims in front of non-Muslims."

Since it is almost universally affirmed in the Muslim world that people like bin-Laden, al-Zawahiri and the like are Muslims, it is forbidden by Muslim custom and tradition for a Muslim to criticize or condemn them in any way that might be heard or read by non-Muslims.

A good example of this practice arose this past week in, of all places, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Jamal Miftah, a Muslim who immigrated to the United States from Pakistan in 2003, wrote an October 29 opinion piece in the Tulsa World entitled, "Message of Islam Is Not Jihad, Fatwahs."

As a result, leaders of his mosque have refused to allow him to return until he renounces his article and apologizes.

A Mosque leader disputed the story, however, claiming that Miftah had been banned for being "too loud in the prayer room." It was this that he needed to apologize for. He had not been asked to apologize for the op-ed article.

According to Miftah, who was interviewed by a local television station, some fellow Muslims thanked him for the article but others physically threatened him to the point where he had to file a complaint with the local police. (Thought: Why would he be threatened for being loud in a prayer room?)

Click to hear interview report

I would like to believe that the lack of public criticism of Islamist terror by Muslim leaders is simply because of this self-imposed censorship on public criticism of Muslims by Muslims.

Opinion polls, however, where such restraint is not likely to be imposed, continually show a significant amount of support and sympathy for these militant, "terrorist" Islamist leaders among Muslims. In many countries that sympathy is a majority of the Muslim population. In others, such as in Great Britain, it is less than a majority but still high.

Fortunately, in the United States, even in opinion polls, a significant majority of Muslims reject the terrorism of al-Qaeda & Co--at least against American citizens in the United States.

Yet, if only 10% of the Muslim population of the United States (population based on Muslim estimates) were personally supportive of those who commit terrorism in the name of Islam that would still come to somewhere near 700,000 people . . . in our own country.

Personally, I believe that a second reason more Muslims do not speak out publicly about this issue is because they are afraid . . . of other Muslims.

UPDATE: Someone on YouTube has posted a comment alongside this video alleging that Miftah is a "fraud" and that his wife, who he alleges goes by three different names, stole one of them from the poster's dead sister!

Ah, yes. Defamation and Denial. They cast doubt on Miftah's credibility, don't they? I suppose that's the intent.