In Brief (washingtonpost.com)
Six Muslim leaders from the Washington area yesterday condemned the taking of hostages in Iraq and demanded the release of all prisoners.
"Those who kidnap and murder civilians are violating Islamic norms and deserve to be repudiated by Muslims in America, in Iraq and throughout the Islamic world," the imams said in a statement read at a news conference at the offices of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington-based Muslim advocacy group.
The statement was read a second time in Arabic by Mohamad al Hanooti, a former imam of Dar Al Hijrah in Falls Church. Council officials said they intend to disseminate it widely in the Arabic press of the Middle East, where they hope it will have an impact despite the region's high level of anti-American sentiment.
"I think our message was very loud and clear to the kidnappers: That they are harming Islam by these actions [which] are counterproductive . . . and inhumane," said Nihad Awad, the council's executive director. The hostage takers, he added, "cannot quote one verse in the Koran" to justify what they are doing.
In addition to Hanooti, the imams included Abdul Fazal Nahidian, Mohamad El Sheikh, Faizul Khan, Mohamad Bashar Arafat and Daoud Nassimi.
More than 150 foreigners have been kidnapped this year in Iraq and about one-third of them have been killed, several by beheading.
-- Caryle Murphy"
Northern Virginiastan's take:
It is only through criticism of the Muslim community that these statements are made. It appears that CAIR read Daniel Pipes's denunciation of its phony petition effort in that it was directed to no one in particular, despite its relentless attacks on him: note that they say that "they intend to disseminate it widely in the Arabic press of the Middle East." Wonder if CAIR's database of media contacts in the Middle East is as extensive as its database of media contacts in the U.S.???
Note once again that the stress is on the harm that kidnappings do to the image of Islam, not on the inhumanity of the kidnappings. It's almost as Nihad Awad added "inhumane" as an afterthought ... or that Carlyle Murphy thought that it was significant enough to keep in the article. Awad might be engaging in taqiyya when he states that the kidnappers "cannot quote one verse in the Koran" to justify what they are doing.