Paul Galloway is executive director for the American Center for Outreach, based in Nashville, which was established to bring the Muslim voice to the Tennessee political stage.An open latter in response:
Fine words, but what, Mr. Galloway, are you and your fellow Muslims in Tennessee going to do about the ongoing violence of Islamists? It's abundantly clear that verbal renunciations mean nothing to Daesh, al Qaeda, the Taliban and their ideological-religious allies. So you may shout your disapprovals from the tallest tower and they do not care. And because Muslims who want to kill me don't care what you say, why should I? You wrote,
In reality, the [Charlie Hebdo] attack itself insulted the honor of Prophet Muhammad more than any speech or image attempting to mock or insult him ever could.How, exactly, did it insult Mohammed? Muslim writer Tarek Fatah, writing in the Toronto Sun, wrote of his own imam who said in Friday'a assembly,
... that in reacting to insults we should take the example of Prophet Muhammad himself and follow in his footsteps.
The problem with that suggestion is that while there were indeed times when Prophet Muhammad forgave those who mocked him, there were others when he ordered them killed.So did the Kouachi brother embarrass Mohammed, or did they emulate him? What do you base your answer on? Don't answer, "The Quran," because the Quran can be used to justify either answer - and according to the classical Muslim Quran exegete, Ismail ibn Kathir, the verses of the Quran that permit or command violence abrogate and supersede those that exhort forgiveness or mercy. In this he is joined by scholars Abu Al-`Aliyah, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, Qatadah and As-Suddi and countless others, in fact, by every Muslim scholar and imam and ayatollah alive today.
This is the reason you are losing the argument with Muslims murderers: you and they alike know that the "verses of the sword" abrogate the verses of forgiveness or mercy. On this there has been universal Muslim agreement going all the way back to Mohammed himself. So when "moderate" Muslims write of follow Mohammed's example of peaceableness or cite Sura 2.256, "Let there be no compulsion in religion . . .," they are engaging frankly in propaganda because all of those verses are superseded according to the Muslim doctrine of abrogation, followed by all Muslims everywhere, including yourself, which simply states that when verses in the Quran seem to contradict one another, the chronologically-later verses win.
The verses of the sword are later than the verses of peace. The terrorists know this. And so do moderates. And that's one reason terrorists win the argument - 1,400 years of Muslim exegesis is on their side, not yours. The other reason they win, of course, is that they simply kill anyone who opposes them, including moderates.
Then you wrote,
I'm also deeply frustrated that despite well over a decade of American Muslims, along with Islamic scholars around the world, publicly and consistently condemning all forms of terrorism, that people still don't seem to know where we stand.We do know where you stand: NATO = No Action, Talk Only. After your decade of condemning terrorism, terrorists are stronger than ever. I do not blame you or your fellow Tennessee Muslims for the Paris attacks. Rather, I consider you and them irrelevant to the entire discussion.
As I said, Muslim terrorists do not care what you think or say and in fact, they will kill you just as readily as anyone else. So why exactly should I pay attention to your denunciations at all? Your disclaimers do not matter. And now to your most ridiculous claim:
It is becoming increasingly clear that anti-Muslim bigots are the mirror image of Muslim terrorists.This is where your op-ed revealed your voice as a decidedly unserious one. Tens of thousands of people, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, have been murdered at the hands of Muslim extremists. Since 1950 millions of Arab Muslims have died at the hands of other Arab Muslims, though most of them for political reasons rather than religious. But Daesh, al Qaeda et. al. are doing their best to catch up.
Please, Mr. Galloway, identify the "anti-Muslim bigot" terrorist organizations that are killing Muslims as a matter of religious devotion. Please tell me how many Muslims and non-Muslims have died at their hands.
You wrote of the need to "undermine the forces that seek to divide us," then said,
America, by virtue of our Constitution, our nation's legacy of religious freedom and our unique and inherent pluralism, all make us particularly well suited to this task.Do you therefore agree that Islam should be subordinated to the secular nature of Constitutional government? Do you agree that sharia law can never be the supreme law of the land in the United States? Do you agree therefore that Islam in America does and shall always enjoy exactly the same rights, no more no less, than Methodism, Roman Catholicism, Mormonism or Judaism?
Words are cheap, Mr. Galloway, and another decade of bemoaning disclaimers will only cheapen them further still.