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September 30, 2006

A German Who Gets It

Here is a politician with a little bit of moral clarity on the issue of terrorism and Islam.

A top German politician and close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday Islam was one of the main factors in religiously motivated violence, and urged Germany's Muslims to reject all forms of brutality.

But Ronald Pofalla, general-secretary of Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats, also acknowledged that many Muslims would find it painful that their religion was being abused for violent ends.

"Certainly it is painful for many Muslims that their religion is misused for violence," Pofalla wrote in a guest column for Sunday's Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

"But ... the problem of religiously motivated violence is today almost exclusively a problem of Islam. In addition, many of the victims are Muslims themselves," he said, according to extracts released in advance on Saturday.

Pofalla also noted that Muslims need to be prepared to accept criticism of their faith, as well as teh right of Christians to defend theirs.

The observation is quite accurate -- most of the victims of violence by Muslims are other Muslims. Now I could argue that Pofalla is wrong in stating that Islam is being misused, given the long and consistently bloody history of the followers of teh false prophet Muhammad, but I'm willing to concede that in many parts of the world we find a plurality of Muslims who object to terrorism in the name of their faith. The problem, of course, is that they are afraid to speak out or act against the violent faction among them.

I cannot help but be struck, however, by the response to a statement that implicitly rejects the notion that Islam is a violent faith and that notes that the violence takes a heavier toll on Muslims than on anyone else.

The Central Council of Muslims in Germany criticized Pofalla's comments, saying generalizations such as he made only reinforced stereotypes and prejudices.

"I get the impression that some CDU people want to take one step forward and two steps back," Aiman Mazyek, the Council's general-secretary, told Sunday's Tagesspiegel newspaper.

In other words, "How dare you criticize Islam, you infidel dog! You should be killed for insulting our religion."

Look for such statemetns to begin appearing from the jihadis any time now -- and for the Muslims who claim to oppose violence and oppression carried out in the name of their religion.





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