Opinion: Thinking, Active Muslim Community Best Antidote to Fanaticism

September 8, 2004

Source: NCM/Pacific News Service


On September 8, 2004 the Pacific News Service ran an opinion piece by Hassan Zillur Rahim (editor of Iqra, an American Islamic magazine) in which he denounces Islamic extremism and cites numerous examples of Muslims working to counter the Islamic terrorist image. He writes, "Since the September attacks three years ago, we American Muslims have observed with increasing alarm and frustration how a minority of Muslim fanatics continued to wage one brutal terrorist act after another around the world – Moscow, Bali, Karachi, Madrid - leading to hundreds of lost and shattered innocent lives, all in the name of Islam and the Quran. It became clear to us that we had a supremely important role to play in fighting these fanatics: We had to clearly and unequivocally condemn the killing of innocents, particularly when Muslims were the perpetrators... Ours is a community in which ordinary Muslims are beginning to explore their own understanding of the Quran and their relationship with the Creator, as opposed to allowing others to do it for them. A thinking, expressive and active community is the best antidote to the poison of fanaticism and nihilism that plagues the Muslim body today."