A Muslim response to London? They were still counting the dead and the maimed in the hospitals of London on Thursday at 11:46 a.m. EST when Dr. Mohamed Elmasry, of Waterloo, Ont., head of the Canadian Islamic Congress, seized the chance to import this issue into Canadian ethnic politics and once more assert the right of Canadian Muslims not to be blamed for anything, ever.
Nobody had yet said one word against Canadian Muslims. Yet Elmasry issued a bulletin briefly condemning the crime and announcing in the same paragraph that "irrespective of who claims responsibility for the bombings CIC hopes and prays that Canadian Muslims will not pay a price for being found guilty by association."
The heading on his bulletin said: "ISLAMIC CONGRESS CONDEMNS LONDON TERRORIST BOMBINGS AND HOPES CANADIAN MUSLIMS DO NOT PAY THE GUILTY-BY-ASSOCIATION PRICE."
Couldn't he have waited until, say, the end of the day? Couldn't he have pretended that he recognized the nature of this event, a monstrous attack on a great but largely defenseless city? Couldn't he have avoided equating the (real) bombings with the (imaginary) acts of prejudice?
No, he couldn't. He was playing his game. His statement was a typical gambit of the CIC, which justifies its existence mainly by complaining about acts of prejudice that haven't happened. In this case Elmasry and company were denouncing non-events before they even had a chance not to happen, a pre-emptive strike against a fantasy outrage.
The Muslim American Society (MAS) of Fall Church, Virginia, got things a little more in perspective. It sent out a 470-word statement focused on condemning "the heinous acts of terror that rocked the London transit system," expressing sympathy to the victims and their families, and reiterating their opposition to "cowardly acts of violence irrespective of the identity of the perpetrators or their motives." They also called on their fellow Muslims in Britain to assist the emergency services.
But the MAS also had trouble seeing this event clearly. It asked Americans to avoid linking or associating the London bombings "with any faith or religion. These are crimes against humanity perpetrated by evil individuals and have absolutely nothing to do with any religion or faith."
Absolute nonsense, of course. The attacks on London bore all the marks of radical Islam and were even claimed by a European Islamic group previously unknown. They were part of radical Islam's attempt to destabilize Western civilization through its great cities. They fell into a pattern that included New York and Madrid.
Those committing these atrocities do so in the name of Islam and have been praised by many eminent Islamic figures.
That doesn't mean that Muslims as a totality must take the blame. As Daniel Pipes says, radical Islam is the problem, moderate Islam is the solution. But it's ridiculous to suggest that we avoid the subject of religion when crimes are committed in the name of that religion by men and women considered part of it.
In all the nations of the world, whether in Europe, the Middle East, or anywhere else, radical Islam is the chief sickness afflicting the religion that the CIC and the MAS seek to defend and propagate. They should be far more concerned about it than anyone else. After all, it is their name that the killers are dragging through the mud of history.