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What They Are Saying: Wait a Second, Declare Muslims - Don't Point Those Weapons at Us!
"Jordanians are shocked that Islamic terrorists would blow up families, including families celebrating a wedding. They are so shocked that for the first time in history, Muslims have taken to demonstrating against Islamic terror.
"And why are they shocked? Because the terrorists blew up Jordanians. As long as Islamic terrorists blew up men, women and children who are Jewish, Christian, Hindu, American, Australian and black Sudanese, the Arab and larger Muslim worlds were not particularly disturbed. In fact, Palestinians, who comprise the majority of Jordan's population, celebrated when Jews were blown up at Passover seders and at weddings. And they took to the streets and cheered in the Palestinian fashion, handing out candy, when Americans were incinerated in office buildings.
"For some reason, Palestinians, most other Arabs and many Muslims around the world thought that the credulity-straining evil of targeting the most innocent for death, paralysis, blindness and brain damage would be confined to non-Arabs and non-Muslims. In fact, the idea that this Palestinian-made cancer would target Arab Muslims is so inconceivable to most Arabs that many now believe the terror attack in Amman was orchestrated by Jews.
"Of course, Arab Muslim men, women and children are blown up almost weekly in Iraq, but, hey, that's OK because the monsters doing it hate America and seek Israel's annihilation. And in the Arab world - and in much of the Muslim and leftist worlds - hatred of America and Israel gets you a moral pass. In the Arab/Muslim worlds (with individual exceptions, of course), as among the world's leftists, an act is almost incapable of being judged evil if it is committed by those who hate America or Israel.
"It has been nearly impossible for the Arab, Muslim and leftist worlds to morally condemn the blowing up of Israelis. What do they say? 'Palestinians have no Apache helicopters - what do you expect them to do?' 'They are simply resisting occupation.' 'The Israelis are also terrorists.'
"These arguments of the left, the Arab world and countless other Muslims have given the Islamic terrorists the moral green light to continue their atrocities.
"Until, that is, they inflicted one of these atrocities on Arabs in the land of the Palestinians. So, at least for the time being, the sight of charred and dismembered Arab families at a wedding has trumped the anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's killers.
"Now there is widespread condemnation of Zarqawi's terror in Jordan. There is even a fear that the name of Islam will suffer. Unfortunately, however, it is only because Zarqawi was foolish enough to massacre Jordanian civilians, and not confine his massacres to Iraqis and non-Arabs. What has aroused Arab voices against Zarqawi has nothing to do with the immorality of blowing up people celebrating at a wedding - it has to do with the immorality of blowing up Muslims celebrating at a wedding.
"Nevertheless, it is possible that a moral awakening of sorts may be taking place in parts of the Arab world. It may even come to realize the greatest truth regarding terror and evil: People who blow up Israeli weddings and cut Americans' throats are very bad people. And if you don't fight them, they will eventually blow you up, too."
That Crass Iranian Leader Apparently Took Things a Bit Too Far
Scholar Stephen Schwartz writes in The Weekly Standard (www.weeklystandard.com) on Nov. 14 that the anti-Israel rant of Iran's president has its critics in the Islamic world:
"The new president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, may unintentionally have helped undermine clerical rule in the country with his recent outrageous speeches and remarks against Israel.
"Ahmadinejad's scandalous comments came on an Iranian holiday instituted by Ayatollah Khomeini at the end of the Muslim month of Ramadan and known as Jerusalem Day; it is intended to agitate Iranian Muslims against the Jewish state and the Zionist concept. This year it fell on Oct. 26. A former Revolutionary Guard who had already stirred new global anxieties about the Iranian theocracy by his intractable promotion of the country's nuclear ambitions, Ahmadinejad used the opportunity to declare that Israel 'must be wiped off the map,' as fulfillment of the official Iranian vision of 'a world without Zionism.'
"Suddenly, many Iranians felt they had been thrown a quarter-of-a-century backward, to the worst excesses of Khomeini's rule. A U.N. Security Council resolution was almost immediately passed, condemning Ahmadinejad's rhetoric. The Israeli government called on the United Nations to expel Iran. Western governments - but also Iranian and other Shi'ite Muslims - began expressing their disgust with Tehran.
"Not only that, but opposition to Ahmadinejad's posturing was expressed by the most vulnerable sector of the Iranian state itself - the diplomatic corps. Like Saudi Arabia and various Latin American tyrannies, Iran in recent years has often sent potential dissenters and 'reformers' abroad as ambassadors. This has the dual advantage of removing individuals who might oppose the government's whims and presenting an ameliorative image of the Iranian power structure to a justly suspicious world.
"Already, numerous Iranian diplomats had expressed concern about Ahmadinejad at the time of his election in June. Some of them had described the new chief executive as an uneducated, bumptious, immature and rather stupid individual who can only reflect badly on Iranians. Notwithstanding the indignities to which they have been subjected by the governing clerics over the past 26 years, Iranians feel pride in their ancient culture and a profound desire for the world's respect, and they are embarrassed and repelled by so primitive a presidential style.
"Top officials in Tehran, as well as some diplomats, tried to soften the impact of Ahmadinejad's belligerent comments. Some claimed that Iran would accept a peace process supported by Palestinians, and that Iran wants peace, not war. But this is not credible, given the absence of accountability in a theocracy that allows no alternation in power of competing political parties. Ahmadinejad's predecessor, Mohammed Khatami, who prides himself on his international reputation as a reformist, went so far as to equate the new president's ideological outlook with 'fascist values and principles in the name of Islam,' which Khatami said were unacceptable.
"Muslim leaders and intellectuals outside Iran also began protesting. Ali Alyami, an intrepid Saudi dissident in Washington, stated that his Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia rejects 'the repulsive call by the extremist Iranian president to annihilate a whole people from the surface of the earth,' and exhorted 'all Arab and Muslim governments, the decent Iranian people, and all people to condemn this deadly dissemination of hate.'
"Predicting Iranian outcomes is an unproductive endeavor. But it is clear that the majority of Iranians do not want to continue living as they are, and it may be that the clerics can no longer rule as they have."