Tuesday, October 28, 2014

NatPo Letter of the Day: "ISIS Must Give Us Back Our Faith"

Abdullah Ahmad of Hamilton, Ontario (the hometown of Corp. Nathan Cirillo, who will be buried with full honours today) writes:
Whoever had a hand in trying to bring Martin Rouleau towards Islam forgot to inform him of the true Islamic teachings. What Mr. Rouleau did was something that I unequivocally condemn, and so do the rest of the Muslims in Canada. Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance, and education. Mr. Martin’s actions did not reflect Islam in any way, shape or form. In reality, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent was closer to Islam then any member or promoter of ISIS could ever hope to be. 
The crimes in Ottawa committed by Michael Zehaf-Bibeau were also unacceptable in the eyes of Islam. Corporal Nathan Cirillo was an innocent man, and killing the innocent is contrary to basic human decency. I just hope and pray that all efforts made towards condemning ISIS and all other terrorist organizations succeed. ISIS must give us back our faith.
My response:
I applaud letter-writer Abdullah Ahmad for his unequivocal condemnation of killers Martin Rouleau and Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, and I have little doubt that had the two converts learned a version of Islam that was full of "peace, tolerance and education," they and their victims would still be alive. Alas, the Islam that appealed to them was the sort that commands the faithful to wage war on infidels until such time as Islam is triumphant. Which is to say the Islam that's articulated in the many verses of violence that one can find without too much difficulty in any copy of the Koran.
It is thus more than a little disingenuous of Mr. Ahmad to insist that these converts' understanding of their newfound faith "did not reflect Islam in any way, shape or form." In fact, that idea, well-intended though it may be, is a big part of the problem: If "moderate" Muslims are unwilling to cop to the violence written into their holy texts, and repudiate that unequivocally, how can they ever hope to persuade the disgruntled and the lost to shun the siren call of jihad?  
As for Mr. Ahmad's cri de coeur that "ISIS must give us back our faith," it is clear ISIS will never do any such thing. If Muslims do indeed want their faith back, they are going to have to put forth the effort and take it back themselves.
In other words, it's a DIY undertaking, and will pose quite a challenge given that Islam is said to be perfect as is, verses of violence and all.

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