Thursday, August 18, 2005


Look at this AP headline: "Moderate Muslims Split on Suicide Bombings." Here are some excerpts:

"Three days earlier at the London Central Mosque, 22 imams and scholars also condemned the July 7 attacks and said the four British Muslim suspects should not be considered martyrs because innocent civilians were killed. But the Muslim leaders stopped short of condemning all suicide bombings.

There should be a clear distinction between the suicide bombing of those who are trying to defend themselves from occupiers, which is something different from those who kill civilians, which is a big crime,' said Sayed Mohammed Musawi, the head of the World Islamic League in London.

Underlining the sensitivity of the issue, Musawi's contention that attacks are justified against 'occupiers' came only after a spokesman for the leaders read a carefully worded statement condemning the London attacks. Even so, none of the other scholars and imams at the event expressed disagreement with his stance.

Debates rage over whether the suicide bombings that target Westerners in Afghanistan, Russians because of Chechnya and Israelis in response to the occupation of the Gaza Strip and West Bank are permitted by the Quran.

-And what about attacks such as those in Iraq that kill civilians and relief workers in an effort to force U.S., British and other foreign forces to withdraw?"

The story does quote some Imams that made a blanket condemnation of suicide bombings. These are the true moderates. However, the AP gets it wrong with the title of the piece. The split is not among Muslim moderates, it is between Muslim moderates and radicals.

UPDATE: Read the current link to this story, which is missing several of the above quotes. I lifted them directly from my ABC NEWS-provided homepage link at the time, attributed to the AP. Maybe I'll post the whole text in the comments section, either here, or at LEAVWORLD, where this was originally posted.