The immediate answer is NO! But not wanting to offer a blanket statement without deeper examination of the reasons for the question and the basis of my argument that it is not only a reasonable request but a morally mandated one.
The question is a result of a recent report that Rana Elmir, an American Muslim and deputy director of the ACLU of Michigan declared, that she “emphatically” refuses to condemn jihadist terrorist “just because I am Muslim.” Her argument is she will not condemn terror perpetuated by psychopaths who are misrepresenting her religion. She drew comparisons to Dylan Storm Roof’s attack on a black church in South Carolina, Planned Parenthood shootings and the slaughter of moviegoers in Colorado or Louisiana. Her expressed view that were she to condemn the jihadist she would be admitting her own guilt. I find her argument weak on many fronts and misguided.
The stretch that since she was not asked to comment on the cited incidents of violence by non-Muslims it is somehow inappropriate to ask her to condemn Islamic Jihadism and Terrorism. When an act of terrorism or senseless violence occurs at the hands of anyone claiming they have a mandate from their god and holy book to do so should elicit the swift and immediate condemnation of all followers of that religion. If anyone commits an act of terror while professing to be a Christian and claiming that God ordered them to do so I will immediately condemn that act as terrorism and a blatant false interpretation of the Bible. Christians have united across political ideological lines to condemn senseless violence because the clear teaching of the Bible does not support a caliphate where Christians are commanded to kill, behead, maim and mutilate anyone not converting to Christianity.
When there is a mass shooting regardless of whether the shooter claims some moral basis for their actions, the left does not ask Christians to condemn the terrorism but the weapon used. On the other hand when there is an act of Muslim terrorism or jihadism the weapon is never mentioned. Instead of offering the same condemnation of the weapon and launching an effort to “ban” or “restrict” various firearms there is a concerted attempt to declare that the Islamic terrorist are not Islamic or Muslim but rather misguided individuals. If someone non-Muslim commits an act of terror there is no mention or consideration of them being misguided but the focus is on the weapon not the individual. In both cases, I assert it is not the weapon but the heart that is the problem.
In my research of the followers of the Islamic caliphate and perpetrators of jihadism and terrorism they cite the consistent and repeated passages of their book instructing them to do what they do. The Bible, on the other hand, does not offer the same command but focuses on love, forgiveness and redemption.
So I ask once more, “Is it wrong to ask Muslims to condemn Islamic terrorism?” My answer is that it is not only not wrong but reasonable to ask the so-called moderate Muslims to openly condemn jihad. The fact that it is rare to find a Muslim willing to condemn Islamic terrorism suggests a need to further examine the so-called religion of peace in its core teachings. Terrorism should be condemned regardless of its ideological source.
I cannot imagine Christian leaders or Christians not openly condemning any group who claimed to be following some biblical directive to murder, maim, rape, pillage and beheading those they considered “apostates.” Many Muslims seem to be living in fear of offering such condemnation. Fearful of the caliphate. If a Muslim truly believes Islam is a religion of peace they should openly and immediately step forward and condemn jihadism and terrorism committed in the name of Islam. Many polls indicate that many so-called moderate Muslims not only refuse to condemn the actions of ISIS and other terrorist groups but believe they are right and desire Sharia Law wherever they reside to supersede the Laws of that Land.
We are engaged in a War with Terrorism whether we want to be or not. They declared the war and have demonstrated a willingness and ability to carry out their threats if left undeterred. If we continue to make excuses attempting to disassociate the ideological and religious from the jihadist we err gravely. We should be asking what drives them to do what they do not suggesting that anyone openly critical of their actions as phobic. The focus and blame is frequently pointed in the wrong direction. Until, Muslims unitedly stand against the Islamic caliphate and condemn the jihad and terror we should not assume or adopt the view that the jihadist are radicals but fundamentalist.
God help us wake up before it is too late and may God bless you and God bless America Again! Let me conclude saying, “I pray for all people and desire that all people come to the Light of God’s love, mercy and grace.” I readily acknowledge there are many Muslims who do not engage in violence or terror and yet in those seemingly peaceable communities some of the atrocities committed against women, children and others is unthinkable in what is called a religion of peace. Terrorism is evil no matter its ideological or religious base!