For me, looking at an issue from a completely different angle really helps provide some perspective. I like to consider what it might look like when viewed from the opposite side of the table. Imagine if this was how the news stories read late Friday night:

“During their attack on the Bataclan concert hall witnesses reported the gunmen were firing indiscriminately into the crowd of innocent concert goers with their AK-47s, shouting “Jesus is Lord!” and “This is for America!”  Several hours after the attack, Twitter accounts linked to the radical Christian terrorist group known as CSUS (Christian State in the US) claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks that killed 127 and left more than 800 wounded. CSUS has claimed credit for dozens of attacks over the past few years including the bombing in Beirut two days ago that killed 43, the attacks in Kenya in April that killed 147, and the beheading of 30 Muslims in Libya.”

It seems to me—and I am just speculating here—if the above news stories were true, the loudest and most strident voices denouncing the terrorist acts would be coming from the Christian church and the American government. Why? Because acts of terrorism, the shedding of innocent blood, and the advancement of a religious state are antithetical to both the Christian worldview and the American worldview.

Whether the terrorists we’re fighting are operating as a coordinated unit, or as independent cells, there is one thing that ties all of the disparate bombings, beheadings, and shootings together: the attackers all claim they are killing in the name of Islam. It’s not the media, or the American government, or the Zionists who are asserting this link. The flag the terrorists themselves claim they are fighting under is ISIS; the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The name they proclaim as great while they are cutting the heads off innocent people is Allah.

I believe the overwhelming majority of Muslims on this planet are peaceful people who love their families, help people in need, pray and give alms, and generally live good lives. Unfortunately, there are also other Muslims who are able to find justification for their heinous, violent actions in the words of the Quran and in the life of the prophet Mohammed.

My question is this: Why are we not hearing loud and strident voices from the Islamic religious leaders and Middle Eastern governments denouncing these attacks? Is the media just not reporting it? Are these acts not being denounced? Are they viewed as justified and acceptable by Islam?

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” —Edmund Burke

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UPDATE: Since I initially posted this, I was glad to come across an article on the Huffington Post called “Muslim Scholars Release Open Letter To Islamic State Meticulously Blasting Its Ideology”.  You can read it here. If only this kind of public denunciation was more common.

Denouncing ISIS using sacred Muslims texts

Nihad Awad, center, executive director of the Council of American-Islamic Relations, and more than 10 Muslim-American leaders endorse a letter written by more than 100 Islamic scholars that denounces ISIS by relying on sacred Muslims texts.