July 04, 2006

I won't apologize

I read another article today about how Muslims need to do more to root out extremism. This time it was Tony Blair who said that there is only so much his government can do; it is up to Muslims themselves to identify the fringe elements in their community, and work against them.

This rhetoric is common, and I essentially agree with it; we have a lot of work to do amongst ourselves. But I will not apologize for the actions of others, especially if requested to do so by hypocrites who are running an illegal war. In fact, calling it a war is perhaps even too generous; it is an invasion, and should be recorded as one of the greatest disgraces of modern history.

The rape of a young Iraqi girl, and the subsequent murder of herself and her family, has surfaced. The girl was fifteen fourteen; her parents and little sister (no more than seven years old) were the other victims. Is there anyone who really believes that this is the only such case? This one happened to surface publicly; there must be hundreds of such incidents that remain hidden. Considering the humiliations that surfaced at Abu Ghraib against Iraqi men, it would be foolish to assume that Iraqi women were not abused as well. The list of atrocities keeps getting longer; were such a list ever published, future generations would categorize this army - and the government that controls them - along with the most oppressive forces of the twentieth century.

I suspect that the government is less worried about the rape/murder itself, and more worried about how it leaked.

No one is asking for the Americans to apologize for the acts of their soldiers. No one is asking the Americans to "root out" the extremist elements within their ranks. We refrain from this because we believe that the actions of a few does not reflect the entire organization. Unfortunately, that logic is applied selectively: don't blame America for the action of its citizens, but blame the Muslims for the actions of its adherents. That no one questions this hypocrisy is frightening. And anyone bearing a bumper sticker requesting that we "Support Our Troops" is asking us to support an organization that has caused more violence, death, and instability than any other group existing today. And yet, such behaviour is applauded, while speaking out against these criminals is considered to be a challenge against liberty, democracy, and justice.

We live in strange times, when the ones dropping bombs from fighter planes to kill individual men are considered to be the ones fighting terrorism. Things are completely backwards when you are considered to be a threat to national security when you don't support the invading army in an illegal conflict. But that's the world of today, and we all must live within our circumstances.

I will do for my community what I must do as a Muslim, but I will not apologize for them. Unless the average American takes responsibility for the atrocities committed by their fellow citizens, I see no need to take responsibility for those atrocities committed in the name of Islam.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing stuff, as always. Keep up the good blogging. This one you should think about sending to a newspaper, get it read by more people. (Although you do have the Number 1 Irrelevant Opinions on Google).