Every time an extremist who is Muslim commits an act of terrorism, people ask where the moderate Muslim voices condemning violence are. (Interestingly, as a Jew, I don’t usually get asked to condemn extremism when it is perpetuated by Jewish fundamentalists like Baruch Goldstein, who shot 29 praying Muslims do death, and injured 125, at the Cave of the Patriarchs, or Yigal Amir, who killed Israeli Prime MinisterYitzhak Rabin.) And the same thing is happening following this week’s deplorable, pathetic, and tragic killing of 12 people at the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.
Not surprisingly, much of the “where is the Muslim outrage” outrage is coming from… Fox News, as Media Matters notes. Fox’s own Monica Crowley, for example, said that Muslims “should be condemning” the attack and that she hadn’t “heard any condemnation… from any groups.” Fox News’ America’s Newsroom guest Steve Emerson complained, “you don’t see denunciations of radical Islam, by name, by mainstream Islamic groups.” Bob Beckel, a host of Fox News’ The Five host said Muslims were “being quiet” about the shooting and accused the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) of keeping “their mouth shut when things happen.”
To be fair, it’s not all Fox News. Here’s CNN’s Don “why didn’t you just bite Bill Cosby’s penis” Lemon asking Arsalan Iftikhar, a Human Rights attorney and the founder of The Muslim Guy website, “Do you support ISIS?” on Wednesday.
So, allow me to do some of the legwork for the media… And present examples of Muslim outrage about the Paris shooting.
Let’s start with organizations, like CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which has, according to Fox, kept its mouth shut. Somehow they managed to get out this statement.
We strongly condemn this brutal and cowardly attack and reiterate our repudiation of any such assault on freedom of speech, even speech that mocks faiths and religious figures. The proper response to such attacks on the freedoms we hold dear is not to vilify any faith, but instead to marginalize extremists of all backgrounds who seek to stifle freedom and to create or widen societal divisions.
We offer sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of those killed or injured in this attack. We also call for the swift apprehension of the perpetrators, who should be punished to the full extent of the law.
When we study Islam, we see clearly that the Quran condemns this kind of violence categorically. That Prophet Muhammad said that a Muslim is one from whom all others are safe…. This is not about religion. This is about political power, this is about uneducated, ignorant youth who are being manipulated by clerics and extremists. And this is why it’s all the more important for us, as the moderates, regardless of faith, to stay united and combat this.
3. Muslim Council of Britain:
The Muslim Council of Britain condemns this attack. Whomever the attackers are, and whatever the cause may be, nothing justifies the taking of life…. Dr Shuja Shafi, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain said: “Nothing justifies the taking of life. Those who have killed in the name of our religion today claim to be avenging the insults made against Prophet Muhammad, upon whom be peace. But nothing is more immoral, offensive and insulting against our beloved Prophet than such a callous act of murder. Our thoughts, prayers and solidarity go to the families of the victims and the people of France.”
4. French Muslim Council (CFCM): “This extremely grave barbaric action is also an attack against democracy and the freedom of the press.” It also called on “all those committed to the values of the Republic and democracy to avoid provocations that only serve to throw oil on the fire,” and on French Muslims to “exercise the utmost vigilance against possible manipulations from extremist groups.”
5. Union of Islamic Organizations of France (UOIF): “The UOIF condemns in the strongest terms possible these criminal attacks and horrible deaths. The UOIF offers its condolences to the families and all employees of Charlie Hebdo.”
6. Arab League [a regional organization representing 22 Arab countries, all of which have a majority Muslim population]: “Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi strongly condemns the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo newspaper in Paris.”
7. Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association: “The sanctity of human life is central to our faith. That lives could taken in this manner for any cause is appalling and unjustifiable.”
Regardless of motive or rationalization or evidence or excuse, killing twelve innocent people to avenge Prophet Muhammad has no justification and must be condemned without citing any victimhood. At this moment of national grief we ask the French people not to allow this senseless violence perpetrated by three terrorists to put a wedge between peaceful French Muslims and the broader public. We call upon the authorities to swiftly apprehend the perpetrators who should be punished to the full extent of the French law.
This attack in no way represents the teachings of our beloved prophet Muhammad. There are many examples from the life of prophet where he could have responded physically to those who mocked him. On the contrary, he wished them well and prayed for them. Our heart goes out to those who were brutally murdered in this cowardice terrorist attack by the so called defenders of Islam.
10. Dalil Boubakeur, imam at the mosque of Paris: “This is a thunderous declaration of war. The times have changed. We’re entering a new phase of this confrontation… we are horrified by the brutality and the savagery.”
11. Hassen Chalghoumi, imam of the Drancy mosque in Paris’s Seine-Saint-Denis suburb: “These are criminals, barbarians. They have sold their soul to hell. This is not freedom. This is not Islam and I hope the French will come out united at the end of this.”
12. The Islamic Cooperation Organization (ICO): “OIC hopes that the culprits would soon be apprehended and presented to justice in France, conveying condolences to the families of the victims, the French government and people and wishing the injured quick recovery.”
13. The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM):
We are absolutely shocked and horrified by what happened. It is an absolute tragedy and it is a crime….We are shaken up by what happened in Paris today. Our hearts and thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families and the injured. We are hoping that whoever did this – the perpetrators of this crime – are quickly brought to justice.
14. Dr. Mohammad Iqbal AlNadvi, chairman of the Canadian Council of Imams. “We denounce [the attacks], and we don’t think it is the right away to express anything… We hope all groups will maintain order and allow proper authorities to deal with it and that no violent action will be taken against Muslims.”
15. Farhan Khokhar, vice president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community of Canada:
I was literally horrified and shocked. It was beyond disbelief to see such carnage and killing of the innocents…. [O]ur hearts went out to the innocents — people who died and their families… [L]oss of innocent life is always tragic… always brings tears to people’s eyes. Just as you’re starting the New Year, this is not how you want to start the New Year…. [W]e want every perpetrator not only to be caught as quickly as possible, but that the full force of law should be laid against these people. Not only those that perpetrated the act, but people behind them as well, or people who supported them.
16. Muslim Canadian Congress: “MCC condemns barbaric Islamist attack in Paris on Freedom of Expression.”
17. Al-Azhar [a thousand-year-old seat of religious learning respected by Muslims around the world]: “Islam denounces any violence.”
In addition to organizations, At least 10 Muslim leaders of governments of largely Muslim countries have condemned the attacks.
18. Saudi Arabia: The country expressed “deep sorry” in response to “this cowardly terrorist attack which is incompatible with Islam religion.”
19. Qatar’s Foreign Ministry: “these actions that targets civilians contravene all values and principles, moral and humanitarian.”
20. United Arab Emirates Foreign Ministry: “such appalling criminal acts require cooperation and solidarity at all levels to eradicate this menace.”
21. Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Najib Razak: “Malaysia condemns in the strongest terms all acts of violence. We stand in unity with the French people. We must fight extremism with moderation.”
22. Morroco’s King Mohammed: [He], ‘‘strongly condemned the odious, cowardly terrorist attack.”
23. Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry: [Indonesia] “condemns the attack” and “sends condolences to the government and people of France.
24. Egypt’s Foreign Minister: “Egypt stands by France in confronting terrorism, an international phenomenon that targets the world’s security and stability and which requires coordinated international efforts to eradicate.”
25. Turkey’s Foreign Minister: “We, as Turkey, condemn with hatred any kind of terror… We are against any form of terror regardless of where it comes from and what its motives are.”
26. Lebanon’s Foreign Ministry: It expressed its “sympathies and full solidarity with the French government and people in their fight against terrorism,” and urged international cooperation against terrorism so “its shrapnel won’t hit the innocent anywhere else in the world.”
27. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham:
Such actions are a continuation of radical waves and physical aggressions which have spread throughout the world in the past decade, and incorrect policies and double standards in confronting extremism and violence have unfortunately given way to a spreading of such undertakings.
And Muslim individuals took to social media to denounce the violence:
28. Iyad El-Baghdadi
As a Muslim, killing innocent people in the name of Islam is much, much more offensive to me than any cartoon can ever be. #CharlieHebdo
— Iyad El-Baghdadi (@iyad_elbaghdadi) January 7, 2015
29. Mustafa Akyol
30. Sabbiyah Pervez
Sheer madness, mind boggling that people will kill over a cartoon. So far from any faith they claim to belong to. #NotInMyName
— (@sabbiyah) January 7, 2015
31. Ali Gokal
— Ali Gokal (@aligokal)
32. Mirnes Kovac
— Mirnes Kovac (@MirnesKovac) January 7, 2015
— #NotInMyName (@psLoveAishah) January 7, 2015
34. Arsh Mirzary
As a Muslim I apologize to the community for the Paris terrorist attack. But it was an act of few individuals not the Muslim community
— Arsh Mirza (@ArshMirza2) January 7, 2015
36. Sarah Mushir
— Sarah Mushir (@SarahMushir) January 7, 2015
37. Almis A. Amanry
— Almis A. Aman (@Almis310) January 8, 2015
38. Memz Dogi
— Memz Dogi (@Memz_Dogi) January 8, 2015
39. Sheheryar Ahmad
— Sheheryar Ahmad (@sheriahmad) January 7, 2015
40. Arbaaz khanar
— Arbaaz khan (@aarohkhan) January 7, 2015
As a Muslim, I absolutely refuse to apologize for this terrorist act. But as a Muslim,I demand justice for the victims& say: #JeSuisCharlie
— Hend (@LibyaLiberty) January 7, 2015
42. Bilal Lashari
I’m a Muslim and I unequivocally condemn the massacre in Paris. #CharlieHebdo
— Bilal Lashari (@belallashari) January 7, 2015
43. Farran Nehmery
My family is French. My family is Muslim. I am a journalist. We are grieving. #CharlieHebdo
— Farran Nehme (@selfstyledsiren) January 7, 2015
The attack on #CharlieHebdo is cowardly and senseless.. As a Muslim I am outraged by what happened today. Prayers to the families
— Asma (@LibyanBentBladi) January 7, 2015
— Mohammed Al-Binateej (@ATEEKSTER) January 7, 2015
As a Muslim I condemn the #CharlieHebdo killings.Yes you can be offended but we have to preserve freedom of speech.
— Sabina (@sabinabeautyetc) January 7, 2015