If it is legitimate to question whether we should be denouncing the criminal terrorist acts in Mumbai a week ago, then I imagine it is legitimate to question whether man really landed on the Moon, or whether the world is more than 6000 years.
But wait - there are nut cases who question that we landed on the Moon, and some who think the world is only 6000 years old. Still, I cannot understand that someone would actually question the wisdom of denouncing the perpetrators of the Mumbai massacre.
Several American Muslim groups (CAIR and ISNA) were at the forefront of denouncing the horrible events. The local chapter of CAIR in Missouri had its own press release denouncing the cowardly killings as well. All that was good, and the majority of local Muslims supported both the national and local initiatives.
What got me to feel funny was that few Muslims expressed concerns that denouncements were 'premature' and that we 'do not know ALL the facts'.
Some also hinted that agencies like the CIA and FBI have history of planting 'agent provocateurs' to incite deeds like that to discredit unfriendly organizations.
One of the email exchanges went even further to list - for a mysterious reason - all the legitimate grievances that Muslims have all over the world: Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq, etc.
I have only 2 words in response to all that: Totally Irrelevant.
What I and many other Muslims as well as local and national Muslim organizations have denounced - and should always loudly denounce - is the cowardly criminal indiscriminate killing of any innocents in the name of a cause that should be fought on the battlefield, not in downtown hotels, temples, synagogues, mosques or churches.
If killing people based of the passports they carry or the religious attire they wear is not worthy of denouncement, what could be worthy?
If walking into a hotel, picking certain nationals as hostages, followed by torturing and slaughtering them like cows is not evil, then what is?
If the criminals were 'incited' to do those horrible things by 'agent provocateurs' then they are not only murderous criminals, but they are also extremely stupid people on many levels.
If they did not realize that their own religion does not allow those acts, then they are stupid.
If they blindly cooperated with the 'provocateurs' without critically evaluating what the 'agents' were inciting them to do, then they are stupid.
If they were willing to sacrifice their lives without reading their own Holy Book once to see how many of its chapters and verses explicitly denounce what they plan to do, they are stupid.
If they could not imagine the kind of material and moral damage their 'sacrifices' are going to bring on their coreligionist and on the name of their religion, they are stupid.
But for those evil ones to be only stupid is a best case scenario.
I believe that those who participate in such acts are truly evil, disturbed and psychotic - they are the ultimate example of sociopaths and psychopaths. The world is better of without them. It is very sad that they had to take many lives with them on their way out.
No amount of ignorance or stupidity is enough to make you think it is OK to kill random people thousands of miles away from your 'real or imagined' battlefield.
No level of idiocy is enough to make you feel right about asking someone you meet for the first time to show their passport then shoot them because they carry the 'wrong' passport?
Idiocy and stupidity are not be enough. You must be evil to do it.
I also have few words for my fellow Muslims who think it is premature to condemn the terrorist acts.
Denouncing the horrible massacre is not denouncing Islam or Muslims. What happened in Mumbai deserved the same denouncement if it was done by Hindu's or Christians, or any body any where.
I do not need to know who the cowards are, or were, before I denounce them and denounce the atrocities they inflicted. Their deeds tell me all I need to know.
I do not need to know if they had a legitimate motive or a worthy cause. No motive or cause can ever make such an event any less horrendous and evil in the eyes of my religion.
Thinking twice before denouncing such evil, or thinking of possible motives or excuses for such evil-doers is an insult to Islam and is inconsistent with numerous Koranic verses and Prophetic teachings and practices.
Denouncing evil is a way to honor Islam for what it truly teaches and Muslims for who they really are.
If you do not believe me, take a moment and listen to what God is telling you and me in our Muslim Holy Book, the Glorious Koran. Then ask yourself the following question:
Would the religion that teaches its followers this, tolerate not denouncing what happened in Mumbai, no matter who did it, or for what reason?
On protecting your own enemy if they ask for your protection:
"And if any of those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God seeks thy protection, grant him protection [during war], so that he might [be able to] hear the word of God [from thee]; and thereupon convey him to a place where he can feel secure:' this, because they [may be] people who [sin only because they] do not know [the truth]" (Chapter 9:6)On the treatment of war prisoners:
On restricting war to defensive war:
".. and who give food - however great be their own want of it - unto the needy, and the orphan, and the captive," (Chapter 76:8)
On not doubting your enemies intention for peace:"AND FIGHT in God's cause against those who wage war against you, but do not commit aggression - for, verily, God does not love aggressors." (Chapter 2:190)
"[Hence,] O you who have attained to faith, when you go forth [to war] in God's cause, use your discernment, and do not - out of a desire for the fleeting gains of this worldly life - say unto anyone who offers you the greeting of peace, 'Thou art not a believer' ..." (Chapter 4:94)On the sanctity of all human life:
"... if anyone slays a human being unless it be [in punishment] for murder or for spreading corruption on earth-it shall be as though he had slain all mankind; whereas, if anyone saves a life, it shall be as though he had saved the lives of all mankind. ..." (Chapter 5:32)On the merits of forgiveness:
"... but he who shall forgo [retribution] out of charity will atone thereby for some of his past sins. ...'" (Chapter 5:45)On punishing aggressors only proportionately, and the virtue of patience and endurance, rather than revenge:
"... If ye punish, then punish with the like of that wherewith ye were afflicted. But if ye endure patiently, verily it is better for the patient." (Chapter 16: 125 & 126)On the value not only of forgiveness, but also of kindness to those to committed evil against you:
"And not alike are the good and the evil. Repel (evil) with what is best, when lo! he between whom and you was enmity would be as if he were a warm friend." (Chapter 41:34)And last but far from least, on how injustices committed against us should never lead us to commit injustice:
"O YOU who have attained to faith! Be ever steadfast in your devotion to God, bearing witness to the truth in all equity; and never let hatred of anyone lead you into the sin of deviating from justice. Be just: this is closest to being God-conscious. And remain conscious of God: verily, God is aware of all that you do." (Chapter 5:8)So, brothers and sister: what do you think God wants you to do? What would your answer be?