Terrorism is Islam’s Enemy Too

Letter to the Chicago Tribune

Those who trumpet terrorism as a conspiracy by the Muslim people against people of other faiths should pay more attention to current world events. Friday’s terrorist attacks targeted 2 Mosques in Iraq on Islam’s holiest day of the week, resulting in the cold-blooded murder of 74 innocent Muslims as they knelt in prayer. This vicious attack is evidence that terrorists harbor as little regard for the sanctity of Muslim holy places and Muslim life as they do for those of Christians, Jews, or others. Indeed, Muslims have been the targets of terrorist attacks more often than people of any other faith.

Pundits in the West and apologetics in the East should come to embrace this reality. They should come to realize that terrorists are an enemy of the Muslim people too and put an immediate end to blurring the line between these two distinct entities. Terrorism should be seen for what it is: a form of organized crime. Al-Qaeda, its collaborators and imitators, should be seen for what they are: international outlaws with no loyalty to anything but their own political aspirations and no kinship to anyone but themselves. Only then can a clash of civilizations be replaced by a collaboration of civilizations against the ultimate barbarity and cowardice that is terrorism.

Ahmed Rehab
Director of Communications
Council on American-Islamic Relations – Chicago