"Allahu Akbar" was the last phrase shouted by Maj. Nidal Hasan as he started firing on fellow soldiers at the Ft. Hood Army base. If Hasan had carried out his Islam-inspired act on November 5, 2001, rather than 2009, no one would have hesitated to call the atrocity an act of terrorism. Yet now, eight years later, our President warns us not to "jump to conclusions until we have all the facts." But how many more facts do we need?
Islam continues to linger at a crossroads. After the tragic events of 9/11, the free world has taken pains to differentiate their War on Terror from notions of a war on Islam. We have repeatedly called Islamic terrorists "extremists" that only represent a small minority within the Islamic faith. Considering, however, recent news involving Islamic places of worship -- such as the mosque raids and revealed ties between several imams and terrorist cells -- the time is ripe for innocent Muslim-Americans to stand up and prevent "Allahu Akbar" from becoming a pejorative. In particular, peaceful, innocent adherents to the faith should more strongly challenge members of its leadership who openly condone acts of violence.
Although they are not the only egregious human rights abusers, Islamic regimes are the only states where that abuse is guided by religious rule. Take Omar al-Bashir of Sudan or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, both leaders carrying out oppression in the name of Islam. If you read the Defamation of Religion Resolution proposed by the world's second largest intergovernmental organization, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, you will see firsthand how the 57 member states of the OIC seek to carry out a significant retreat from freedom of speech and expression under the auspices of a U.N. human rights resolution.
In the United States, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, the most horrendous acts of violence are being perversely delivered under the banner of the Islamic faith. September 11, 2001, July 7, 2005, and November 5, 2009, all have one common theme: Islamic terrorists killed innocent people.
So where is the condemnation? Where is the outrage? Sure, we hear from ordinary Muslims who express their disgust at these attacks, but why do we hear nothing from Islamic leaders? While the controversial Council on American Islamic Relations condemned Hasan's actions, we also learned that a frequent speaker at CAIR events, Zaid Shakir, said that, "Islam doesn't permit us to hijack airplanes filled with civilian people. If you hijack an airplane filled with the 82nd Airborne, that's something else."
There is no better time for Muslims to engage in what Salman Rushdie called a "Muslim Reformation". Muslims, especially Muslim-Americans, should unite and collectively take back their religion. They should demand that their leaders not only condemn acts of terrorism and jihadist violence, but also actively expel radicals from their mosques. More importantly, if leaders fail to take the appropriate actions, they should be removed. Covering up true problems within the faith will backfire -- just ask Catholic leaders. Democracy's War on Islam is exactly the war Islamic terrorists have been hoping to ignite, and we must not let them succeed.
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