The inaptly dubbed "War on Terror" continues to run up an ever-higher body count. In the nearly ten years since 9-11, the so-called "Religion of Peace" has racked up over 17,000 deadly attacks, killing tens of thousands all over the globe (all carefully documented by the indefatigable folks at aptly-named site The Religion of Peace). With the body count ratcheting ever higher on a daily basis, why do many if not the majority of Muslims seem so indifferent to the carnage, or worse, even enthusiastic about the never-ending bloodshed committed in the name of Islam? In fact, Muslims have proven themselves highly resistant to the idea of criticizing their coreligionists, no matter what outrage has been committed.
For a Malaysian example of this disturbing behaviour, let’s examine the Malaysian reactions to the passing of Dr. Azahari Husin in 2005. Doctor Azahari -- a former Malaysian university professor -- was a committed jihadist and chief bombmaker for the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah. As you may recall, he was directly implicated in both Bali bombings (2002 and 2005), the JW Mariott hotel bombing in Jakarta in 2003, and the Australian embassy bombing in Jakarta in 2004. Azahari was in fact an unrepentant mass murderer, responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent people. But, as his family and the Malaysian media would have it, he was also supposedly a ‘genuinely warm and caring kind of guy’ who selflessly went to serve a 'higher cause'.
Here is the kind of spin his family put on the ‘fondly remembered’ Doctor Azahari, as was published verbatim in a Malaysian newspaper at the time (link unavailable):
…in his family, he was a respected big brother whose skills in Maths and zest for sports were a source of inspiration to his nine siblings. Azahari Husin’s sister, Suraya, 45, recalled that her brother loved cowboy movies and thought girls were "soppy". ... He loved the outdoors and once hitchhiked on a lorry from the premier Malay College (in) Kuala Kangsar, where he studied, to his home in Jasin as a teenager. When he studied in Australia, he took motorcycle excursions across the desert. He loved orchids and sports cars.
And while the family found plenty of wonderful memories to share with the sympathetic Malaysian media, there was nary a trace of condemnation of the late doctor's multi-year murder spree. Azahari's family did have this to say about the notorious terrorist in the family:
“… our family and friends never interfered with what my brother did. That’s the integrity of our family,” said (a younger sister of Dr Azahari Husin.) ... “People can say what they want, but I know my brother,” she said when pressed for comments by newsmen at her house in Jalan Chin Chin here yesterday.
Azahari also received a hero’s send-off at his funeral in his hometown of Jasin, a small town several hours' drive south of the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur. The ceremony attracted some 600 well wishers, who repeatedly chanted ‘Allahu akbar’ during the funeral. Many present at the ceremony also voiced skepticism of Azahari’s role as a top terrorist. “Azahari will always have friends here. We shouldn't be asked to believe what is written about him in the newspapers,” said one man who refused to identify himself.
These are very curious reactions all around, at the very least. Given multiple opportunities to condemn terrorism, and to pronounce how un-Islamic all this terrorism supposedly is, Azahari’s family, friends and neighbours all refused to so state. Rather the opposite, actually -- in particular, Azahari’s sister said for the record that family and friends “…never interfered with what my brother did”. This is a disturbingly noncommittal thing to say about a man intimately involved in carrying out mass murder, and for conspiring to commit even more mass murder. Indeed, it could even be construed as approval.
Compare the (at best) tepid response of the Azahari family and other Malaysian Muslims to the response of another family that had one of its own become a mass murderer -- the family of Cho Seung Hui. Cho, as many no doubt remember, was a Korean American who murdered 32 people in 2007 at a university in Virginia before taking his own life. In the aftermath of this devastating tragedy, the family issued a powerful and eloquent statement to the world and to the relatives of the victims. This statement reads, in part:
On behalf of our family, we are so deeply sorry for the devastation my brother has caused. No words can express our sadness that 32 innocent people lost their lives this week in such a terrible, senseless tragedy. We are heartbroken. ... We pray for their families and loved ones who are experiencing so much excruciating grief. And we pray for those who were injured and for those whose lives are changed forever because of what they witnessed and experienced.
It is telling that despite their shock, grief and unimaginable horror, the Cho family managed to compose and release this brief, but articulate public statement. In no uncertain terms, it makes it clear how the Cho family felt about the actions of their loved one, a loved one who, like Azahari Husin, mercilessly slaughtered so many. And still, this one simple statement is light years ahead of anything ever spoken by any of the family or friends of Dr. Azahari.
Why is it that to this day the Azahari family has chosen to say nothing even remotely similar? And in a more general vein, why haven't any of the families of the 9-11 hijackers (who mostly reside in the supposed US ally Saudi Arabia) issued statements like the Cho family? Or the families of the countless other jihadists who have committed more than 17,000 acts of murder and mayhem in the past ten years? Where are their apologies? Indeed, why do all of these Muslim families to this day steadfastly refuse to denounce the unspeakable crimes of their loved ones?
The explanation for this wall of silence is simple yet troubling: while a lot of Muslims may talk of peaceful co-existence, in actuality they tacitly approve of what Islamic terrorists do. These terrorists are, rather often, lionized as heroes in the Islamic world.
Now, it is admittedly true that some Muslim groups have come forward to denounce Islamic terror. But for every Muslim or Muslim group that publicly comes forward, many others choose not to. And considering what sort of hateful, Quranically inspired rhetoric is being preached in many if not most American mosques nowadays, how can we trust that these Muslim condemnations that are heard are anything close to sincere?
The official policy of Muslim countries like Malaysia is to condemn Islamic terrorism. When need be -- often right after a spectacular Muslim terrorist attack -- Muslim countries and organisations are quick to release generalised, pro-forma, mealy-mouthed condemnations of ‘terrorism’. Strangely enough, however, they can never get around to disavowing Hamas, Hizbullah, Al Qaeda, etc. specifically and by name. Even if such pronouncements disavowed any group specifically, the feelings expressed in the Muslim media and by the Muslims themselves have shown how worthless Muslim denouncements of terrorism really are.
Many naive Westerners are convinced that all these pro-terrorist attitudes will fade away once economic prosperity comes to the Islamic world. It’s important to remember that many, perhaps most middle and upper class Muslims are firmly in favor of Islamic terrorism. Underscoring this truth is the fact that many Islamic terrorists hail from educated, prosperous middle and upper class families -- Osama bin Laden was from the richest non-royal family in Saudi Arabia, and New York Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad's father is an air vice marshal in Pakistan's Air Force, to name but two examples.
So let’s just face the fact that, if you are a non Muslim -- and most people on the planet are -- a whole lot of Muslims want you dead or converted to Islam…unless you're Jewish, in which case, only dead will do.
But don’t just take my word for it. You can look it up…in the Muslim media.
The Anti-Jihadist is the pseudonym of a counter-jihad writer, activist and critic of Islam who resides in a majority Muslim country. His work can also be found at Jihad Watch, Infidel Bloggers Alliance and Pedestrian Infidel.