Everyone has been waiting for this for years, and at last it has happened. The historic happening took place in Ireland, a nation hitherto not distinguished for standing in the cultural vanguard, but all that will change now, thanks to a rally hosted by a group calling itself the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council, which has finally delivered to the world the desire of the ages: Muslims rallying against terrorism!
Surely tens of thousands of Muslims attended, right? You know, that vast majority of Muslims who abhor and reject terrorism? Those moderates upon whom the leaders of Western countries are betting the very futures of their nations turned out in droves, didn’t they?
Well, not exactly. RTE News reported this on Sunday about the blessed event: “Up to 50 people took part in a rally organised by the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council to protest over the actions of the so-called Islamic State.”
That’s right. I’m afraid the turnout was, uh, fifty people. Not fifty thousand. Fifty. And not only that, but according to the Irish Examiner, the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council “faced resistance from a few members of the Islamic community, while promoting the event.” Not just verbal resistance, either: “Organisers said that a member of the council was assaulted by someone at a mosque who claimed to support ‘ISIS’, while he was handing out leaflets to promote today’s protest against terrorism.”
So not only did the vast majority of moderate Muslims fail to show up, but the group protesting against jihad terror faced active resistance from other Muslims. When have we heard about a Muslim who wanted to join the Islamic State facing active resistance, even to the point of assault, from moderate Muslims? We have seen Muslims express bewilderment that they went, and anger at the government (whether of the U.S. or Britain) for not stopping them from going, but we have not generally seen Muslims doing anything themselves to prevent them from going.
What’s more, this is not the first time that attendance at a Muslim rally against terrorism has been decidedly underwhelming. In October 2014 in Houston, a rally against the Islamic State organized by the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) drew the grand total of ten people. In August 2013 in Boston, about 25 Muslims rallied against “misperceptions” that Islam was violent. About the same number showed up in June 2013 at a progressive Muslim rally in Toronto to claim that their religion had been “hijacked.”
And back in 2005, a group called the Free Muslims Coalition held what it dubbed a “Free Muslims March Against Terror,” intending to “send a message to the terrorists and extremists that their days are numbered … and to send a message to the people of the Middle East, the Muslim world and all people who seek freedom, democracy and peaceful coexistence that we support them.” In the run-up to the event it got enthusiastic national and international publicity, but it ended up drawing about twenty-five people.
Contrast those paltry showings to the thousands of Muslims who have turned out for rallies against cartoons of Muhammad or against Israel. Here are some headlines from the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo jihad massacre of Muhammad cartoonists in January 2015:
But given a chance to show how Muslims overwhelmingly reject “extremism,” only a handful show up.
This is just the opposite of what the situation should be if the mainstream narrative about Islam and jihad were true. We should be seeing pro-jihad terror Muslims opposed strenuously within their own community. Instead, those who oppose jihad terror are the real “tiny minority of extremists,” hounded and opposed by their fellow Muslims.
You’d think that some of the non-Muslim analysts who have been confidently telling us that moderate Muslims will any day now rise up against their “extremist” brethren and take back their religion from those who have “hijacked” it would get a clue from all this, and realize that the moderates have had almost fourteen years now since 9/11 to rein in the “extremists,” and have not done so, and are not going to do so.
But they won’t. They will be out there with their pom-poms again to cheerlead for the next “moderate Muslim rally against terror” – and they’ll not have to strain their pocketbook all that much to buy a nice halal dinner for everyone who shows up.