[Ibrahim Hooper is national communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.]
In his commentary (“Cancer in its midst”, Op-Ed, yesterday), M. Zuhdi Jasser states that he hopes and prays “for some counter-movement within my faith which will push back all this darkness” of terrorism, in apparent blissful ignorance of the fact that American Muslim groups have consistently and repeatedly condemned terrorism in all its forms.
It is particularly ironic that he believes this “counter-movement” will start with “what is most basic ”” the common truth that binds all religions: ‘Do unto others, as you would have them do onto you.’ The Golden Rule.”
Just the day before publication of Mr. Jasser’s commentary, the headline item on the Council on American-Islamic Relation’s daily e-mail, distributed throughout North America and the Muslim world, was headlined “The Golden Rule.” It offered several hadiths, or traditions of the prophet Muhammad, such as: “Whoever wishes to (enter Paradise) … should treat people as he wishes to be treated by them.”
Mr. Jasser also smears CAIR for “doing absolutely nothing about the most vile hate-speak and actions toward Jews and Christians in the Muslim world.”
Perhaps he missed CAIR’s: 1) condemnations of attacks on Christians in Yemen and Pakistan, 2) statements against suicide bombings in places such as Haifa and Jerusalem, 3) coordination of an Islamic religious ruling (fatwa) against terror and religious extremism, 4) distribution of public service announcements condemning terrorism, 5) online promotion of the “Not in the Name of Islam” petition drive, or 6) CAIR’s recent condemnation of a plan by an Iranian newspaper to solicit cartoons denying the Nazi Holocaust.
In that condemnation, CAIR said: “The Holocaust, like all other acts of genocide, represents one of the lowest moments in human history and should not be the subject of derogatory cartoons. One cannot demand responsible behavior from others while at the same time acting irresponsibly.”
Maybe he also missed CAIR’s proactive educational campaigns designed to offer peaceful alternatives to violent responses prompted by recent controversies over allegations of Quran desecration in Guantanamo and the publication of offensive cartoons by a Danish newspaper.
Mr. Jasser should visit www.cair.com/Muhammad and www.explorethequran.org to educate himself about the reality of the American Muslim community’s true response to violent events.
Mr. Jasser should practice what he preaches. The Web site for his own group is long on talk and short on the kind of positive actions and initiatives taken by CAIR.