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Islam Should Prove It’s A Religion of Peace,” insists Tawfik Hamid in today’s Wall Street Journal. Hamid, a Muslim reformer and former member of an Egyptian Terrorist organization, can’t understand why the West is so upset about Geert Wilders’ film, Fitna . Don’t blame the messenger, says Hamid.

Many Muslims seem to believe that it is acceptable to teach hatred and violence in the name of their religion while at the same time expecting the world to respect Islam as a religion of peace, love and harmony.

Scholars in the most prestigious Islamic institutes and universities continue to teach things like Jews are “pigs and monkeys,” that women and men must be stoned to death for adultery, or that Muslims must fight the world to spread their religion. Isn’t, then, Mr. Wilders’s criticism appropriate? Instead of blaming him, we must blame the leading Islamic scholars for having failed to produce an authoritative book on Islamic jurisprudence that is accepted in the Islamic world and unambiguously rejects these violent teachings.

As I mentioned here , Nina Shea has written critically of the Bush administration’s outreach to Muslims, saying “American Muslim minorities and dissidents-in-exile have been repeatedly excluded from official government Islamic ceremonies and other events.”

When the Obama administration gears up its outreach program to American Muslims it will be interesting to see if Tawfik Hamid is on the invitation list to these sorts of events.



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