[Asma Mobin-Uddin, Board chairwoman Ohio chapter Council on American-Islamic Relations Columbus]
I would like to address some of the questions raised in recent letters to The Dispatch about the Muslim community's stance on terrorism. Bernie Iven (letter, Thursday) raised the issue of support for terrorism on "the Muslim street."
While any support for terrorism is troubling, the most recent studies on Muslim attitudes in this area are encouraging. The 2007 Pew Global Attitudes Project survey, just released in late July, showed that popular support for suicide bombings has dropped sharply across the Muslim world.
"The marked decline in the acceptance of suicide bombing is one of several findings that suggest a possible broader rejection of extremist tactics among many in the Muslim world," the Washington-based Pew Research Center said in its report.
David M. Selcer's July 22 letter mentioned "the Association of Muslim Health Professionals and the Ohio Council on American-Islamic Relations condemning the doctors' attacks in the British Isles," and asked, "Where were the Muslim statements condemning the attacks on Jewish children in Israel riding buses with their grandmothers, in a nightclub in Tel Aviv and celebrating the Passover in Nahariyah?"
As Muslims, we are required by our religion to bear witness to the truth and stand up for justice even if it is against ourselves or our own family (Quran 4:135). The Council on American-Islamic Relations issued the following statement on March 28, 2002, regarding the Passover attack near Nahariyah:
"CAIR, a Washington-based Islamic advocacy group, today condemned a bomb attack on a Passover celebration in the Middle East that left 20 people dead and more than 100 wounded. In a statement, CAIR said: 'We condemn this attack and all other attacks on innocent civilians. Illegitimate and counterproductive tactics must not be used in the legitimate struggle to end Israel's brutal occupation. This attack is of particular concern coming as it did during a religious observance in which the focus is remembrance of God.'". . .
CAIR has always taken a principled stand against terrorism and condemned the use of violence against innocent civilians, whether the perpetrator is an individual, group or government. The following statements have also been issued just in the past year condemning violence against Jews and Jewish institutions: "CAIR condemns vandalism of Chicago synagogue" (April 2), "CAIR condemns attack on Seattle Jewish Center" (Dec. 29), "CAIR condemns Iranian Holocaust denial conference" (Dec. 13). All of these statements can be viewed at CAIR's Web site, www.cair.com.