Bigots Give Themselves Away in Claims Muslims Don’t Condemn Beheadings

Though there are plenty of tests for bigotry, I’d like to add one more: being quick to demand that given members of group condemn wrong-doing by others in that group. Failure to do so is fuel for a “gotcha” scolding in particular and feeds into hatred in general.

We see this happen often in relation to Muslims and wrong-doing by al-Qaeda, Hamas, Boko Haram, and the so-called Islamic State. Here’s an example that bubbled up to the top of a Bing search:

“Neither [Illinois] Governor Pat Quinn nor his Muslim American Advisory Council have commented on, or condemned, ISIS’ beheading of American journalist James Foley.”

To be fair, the post, dated August 21, doesn’t quite get to condemning for failure to condemn, but then, it didn’t need to. A reader self-identifying as “Marvin Fox” closed the loop for them: “The Muslims who failed to condemn the James Foley beheading are more favorable to the ISIL Caliphate and sharia law than they are the American way of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. Why are they being coddled by the governor of Illinois?”

(For the sake of fairness, I must add that I have no particular animus against Illinois Review or anyone connected with it, only against their complaint. Like I said, I found this article in a web search; I never heard of them before. Also, I should clarify Mr. Fox’s question: the post dealt mostly with perceived failure on Quinn’s part to cater as much to Christian interests and organizations as to Muslim ones.)

Other examples appear on in long threads starting with questions like, “Why aren’t the Muslims on here denouncing the beheading of the American journalist, minute by minute?” and more generally, “Why don’t the moderates in Muslims speak out against the extremist in Islam?

Thing is, there is a moral failure at the core of demands for condemnation. That moral failure starts with an us/them divide. Non-Muslims (us) pronounce that Muslims (them) must condemn their own to be on the correct side of rectitude. But that very divide gives short shrift to the idea that we’re all equal as human beings.

The moral failure goes on to presume that some great part of humanity must always cleanse themselves of every stain imposed by wrong-doers on their side of the us/them divide. The problem there is that the stain is the work of wrong-doers on both sides. It’s easy and correct to trace the origin of a stain to a particular sin, in this case, the barbaric beheadings of Americans Steven Foley and Sotloff. But really, and to stretch the metaphor, that sin is only pigment, the raw material of a stain. It becomes a stain on all only when it is thrown onto something. So it goes when bigots in a fit of self-righteousness and ignorance demand that all Muslims condemn beheadings or anything else other Muslims do. Thus are the innocent tarred with the same brush as the guilty.

Why should that be? Are we truly supposed to think that a Muslim approves of beheadings until he or she says otherwise? Aren’t we as Americans supposed to presume someone is innocent until proven guilty? If we’re truly bent on being decent, we cannot set conditions for giving another human being the benefit of the doubt.

Those who have been paying attention know full well that very high-powered Muslims have indeed condemned the recent beheadings and self-proclaimed Muslim terrorism. Just in case PoliticusUSA readers find someone behind the curve, here are a few Web pages that mention notable instances:

Agence France Press “RIYADH: Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh today blasted Al-Qaeda and Islamic State jihadists as “enemy number one” of Islam, in a statement issued in Riyadh.
“The ideas of extremism, radicalism and terrorism… have nothing to do with Islam and (their proponents) are the enemy number one of Islam,” the kingdom’s top cleric said. . . .”

Egypt’s Top Muslim Leader Condemns Islamic State: Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam Denounces ‘Bloody Group

CAIRO, Aug 12 (Reuters) –
Egypt’s top religious authority condemned the armed group Islamic State which has taken over parts of Iraq and Syria, describing it on Tuesday as a corrupt, extremist organization that is damaging Islam.
“An extremist and bloody group such as this poses a danger to Islam and Muslims, tarnishing its image as well as shedding blood and spreading corruption,” said Grand Mufti Shawqi Allam, Egypt’s most influential Muslim cleric, the state news agency MENA reported. . . .
The grand mufti’s view represents the opinion of Al Azhar, one of the world’s oldest seats of Muslim learning, which influences the opinions of Muslims worldwide.

Council on American-Islamic Relations

‘CAIR Condemns Killing of Journalist Steven Sotloff by ‘Anti-Islamic’ Terror Group ISIS

No words can describe the horror, disgust and sorrow felt by Muslims in America and worldwide at the unconscionable and un-Islamic violence perpetrated by the terror group ISIS. The criminal actions of ISIS are antithetical to the faith of Islam.
“Such brutal acts must face redoubled efforts by people of all faiths and backgrounds to promote peace and justice and to reject the religious divisions these monstrous acts are designed to create.
“Our hearts go out to Mr. Sotloff’s loved ones and to all the loved ones of those murdered by ISIS.”

Another Anti-Muslim talking point bites the dust.

Image: Dearborn Patch

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26 Replies to “Bigots Give Themselves Away in Claims Muslims Don’t Condemn Beheadings”

  1. Yes, I remember how Christian leaders always and forcefully condemned Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church and Terry “Koran Burner” Jones for their actions.

    Before anyone calls me an idiot for placing homophobia and Islamophobia in the same universe as beheadings, wrong is wrong and should be condemned by all.

  2. I am not bigoted for wondering why Muslims do not condemn vile actions by extremists. Make a cartoon of the child raper, and the Muslim World is exploding. Show innocent press people getting beheaded, not a peep.
    Apparently there are no Muslim ‘moderates’. Or has the cat got their tongue?????

  3. I have Bill Maher’s philosophy on Muslim violence in the name of religion. From personal interactions, to daily horrific news. Some may condemn beheadings. But they aren’t the most vocal. Maybe it’s subconsciously my Catholic upbringing. I had to be sure Obama was christian before I voted for him. Knew little about him then & rumours were flying. It’s not the progressive way to feel, but I do.

  4. ‘Scuse me. I think that “child raper” phrase already indicates where you get your alleged information.

  5. I’m hoping your first sentence is sarcasm, given that there were very few Christian leaders condemning the WBC hate group (at least until after they targeted more than just gay people). Same for Terry Jones.

    I just wanted to point that out in case anyone read it, didn’t realize it was sarcasm, and believed it to be true.

  6. You’ve had personal interactions with Muslims that were violent? Seriously? I’ve known many Muslims personally and have never known any of them to be violent. Do you publically condemn violent actions of other Christians? Also, you do know per the constitution there is no religion test for public office? If you require one for your vote, that’s your privilege, but don’t call yourself progressive.

  7. It seems to me those who need the sarcasm of that statement pointed out have no idea what sarcasm is anyway. ;-)

  8. I had to be sure Obama was christian before I voted for him… It’s not the progressive way

    Correction, it’s not the American way.

    Article VI Paragraph 3 of the Constitution of the United States of America states in part:

    “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

  9. The Muslims of ISIS no more represent the majority of Muslims today than the Orthodox Christian Serbs represented Christians in the early 1990s. Funny… but I don’t recall Christians back then being demanded to take responsibility for a group of their own…

  10. I know, but it was important to me personally. I wouldn’t have voted for a Muslim presidential candidate. Just like I’d never vote for a Republican for anything.

  11. That wouldn’t go over well in the workplace. That gets you fired, probably arrested. Verbally abusive & extremely misogynist..yes.

  12. Tea Party in particular are whipping themselves into a frenzy over Muslims in America. Something is going to happen, a catharsis is on the horizon. I’m not even certain how many of the far right are even aware that they are being influenced at this point. The false premises are stacked so high the truth can’t possibly bubble up to the top. The more panicked they become, the more vulnerable they are to clicking on sensational conspiracy and disinformation and tunnel-vision sets in. Their entire world view is skewed. It’s to the point that now, our Southern border is no longer about migrant workers or drug cartels, it’s about Muslims. Think about that one…something is going to happen that will shock most of these Tea Party out of their paranoid fantasies. For a brief moment in time, they will become what they have loathed.

  13. Gina, what is the difference between beheading a person or killing them with a gun (Dr. Tiller) or blowing up a Planned Parenthood clinic killing innocent people? These are all done by Christians, which other Christians applaud instead of being against.

  14. P.S. I forgot the biggest one of all. Why did Christian Tim McVeigh not get blasted from the religious right for killing scores of children in Oklahoma City?

  15. By Republican/Tea Party birther logic…President Obmama is a Muslim,right? So to say that Muslims don’t speak out against ISIS is a complete falsehood. This “Muslim” President is going against ISIS more than anybody in this world today, including the Middle Easterners themselves. Not only to protect those Islamists who see ISIS as a real threat, but also to protect Christians who live in the region. You can’t have it both ways you idiots.

  16. Religion is DANGEROUS!
    Kinda like Cigarettes.
    It can damage the person
    using it AND even kill
    those who DON”T. You see,
    most religions believe we
    are all better off DEAD….
    They WANT the World to end.
    The sooner, the better. They
    wanna get to the ‘Promised Land’
    If the rest of us have to die too,
    well so be it…..

  17. I agree that the ISIS does not represent the majority of Muslims. That doesn’t change the fact that not to condemn is to condone. The same applies to christians, jews, and anyone else.

  18. You get a whole truck load of “Atta Boy”, for your come back. Great and thank you for making sense of the issue.

  19. Are you saying that any member of a huge demographic who doesn’t stand on a street corner in a hair shirt with a shame placard any time any other member of that huge demographic commits a crime, is “condoning” that crime? Or does this only apply to Moozlins? When is the last time you put your daily schedule on hold to show you weren’t “condoning” someone else’s misdeeds? In fact, if someone from your own group (whichever one you identified with) did anything of the sort, you’d call it “masochistic”, wouldn’t you?

  20. Well considering that ISIS kills Muslims I can imagine that not too many Muslims care for these people. I’ve actually read comments by Muslims who spoke out against terrorism and the horrible comments that people made to those folks might be one of the reasons they keep quiet.
    Even if they speak out against it, people will make vile comments.

  21. I attempted to reply, as it vanished, I have no idea what I did but will try again! Have you(and others here)read the prominent atheist Sam Harris’ recent blog about how ISIS/IL being ‘exactly Muslim’ – parts of it are on the Christian Post & they seem to be having much fun with it. He made some *qualifying statements but it seemed like just another hate fest to me. Loved where he talked about the “failures of multicultural society” … but then, I’m a bit over sensitive?

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