Muslims must tackle theology of hate


Read the full article on The Australian website.

(The Australian - Friday, 7th August 2009)

Events of the past decade have shown that small groups of militant extremist Muslims have a remarkable ability to create havoc in much of the world: killing, suicide bombing and destruction in the name of Islam.

That the number of these militant extremists is small is not a good reason for the majority of Muslims to remain silent.

The ideology of these small groups has become widespread at a global level and unless the silent majority in Muslim societies wakes up to the threat these militant extremists pose to their societies, their religion and to the world, there is a danger that militant extremism could become the norm in some Muslim societies.

Countering the ideology of militant extremists from 9/11 to the recent Jakarta bombings, Muslim religious leaders, theologians, academics, journalists and others have labelled such actions as anti-Islamic.

Australia, home to about 400,000 Muslims, has become a target of militant extremists, as a series of arrests this week has demonstrated. The law-abiding silent majority of Muslim Australians faces a particularly important task, now more than ever: to counter the threat of militant extremism and the hate-filled ideology of the extremists, and to save the younger generation of Muslims from this ideology.

This does not mean that Muslim Australians are somehow responsible for the acts of militant extremists; clearly they are not, and law-abiding Muslims should not be held responsible for the criminal acts of those who call themselves Muslim.