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    08 July, 2005

    More Muslim reaction (Updated)

    Global Voices, a site I didn't know about, but will add to my Typelists, has surveyed some Muslim reaction globally to the London bombings.

    Also Tom Friedman, whom I heard at the Hay Festival, has a good, if hasty, article in the New York Times.

    Both of these via Instapundit.com


    I wanted to update this post because the commentator below rightly points out a problem with Tom Friedman's column identified by Juan Cole. Where I agreed with Friedman was in his warning of what this bombing must not become:

    But when Al-Qaeda-like bombings come to the London Underground, that becomes a civilizational problem. Every Muslim living in a Western society suddenly becomes a suspect, becomes a potential walking bomb. And when that happens, it means Western countries are going to be tempted to crack down even harder on their own Muslim populations.

    That, too, is deeply troubling. The more Western societies - particularly the big European societies, which have much larger Muslim populations than America - look on their own Muslims with suspicion, the more internal tensions this creates, and the more alienated their already alienated Muslim youth become. This is exactly what Osama bin Laden dreamed of with 9/11: to create a great gulf between the Muslim world and the globalizing West.

    So this is a critical moment. We must do all we can to limit the civilizational fallout from this bombing.

    Juan Cole takes Friedman up on his claim that no Muslim leader has ever issued a fatwa against Osama Bin Laden. Cole refutes that here, saying:

    A "fatwa" is simply a considered opinion of a Muslim jurisconsult. Such opinions are numerous.

    He then lists them. He ends with this:

    Friedman also does refer to a major conference of Muslim clerics, thinkers and notables wound up just Wednesday that made a powerful statement about religious tolerance and condemned everything Osama Bin Laden stands for. But he seems oddly unaware of the significance of having Grand Ayatollah Sistani, Grand Imam of al-Azhar Seminary Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, and many other great Muslim authorities sign off on this epochal statement of Muslim ecumenism.

    The statement forbids one Muslim to declare another "not a Muslim" if the believer adheres to any of the mainstream legal rites of Sunnism and Shiism. The whole basis of al-Qaeda is to call the Muslim leaders of countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, as well as Shiites, "not Muslims." The statement also demands that engineers should please stop pretending to issue fatwas, which should be left to trained clerical jurisconsults. This para. is also a slam at Bin Laden.

    A very informative exchange.

    Later still: History News Network has more.

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    Promoted by Leighton Andrews AM, National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff CF99 1NA.

    Author's editorial policy: This blog does not publish anonymous comments, unless they are really witty and I like them. If you have something to say, then have the courage of your convictions and use your name or an identifiable alias. Even then I reserve the right not to publish comments that are malicious, defamatory, stupid, pointlessly cynical or boring. Any of the statements or comments made above should be regarded as personal and not necessarily those of the National Assembly for Wales, any constituent part or connected body.