Areej Zufari was in her office Tuesday afternoon, agonizing over the beheading in Iraq of a South Korean by Muslim militants. As spokeswoman for the Islamic Society of Central Florida, she debated whether to issue a news release denouncing the decapitation as contrary to Islamic beliefs.
Does every atrocity in the name of Islam demand a statement of outrage by the Central Florida Muslim community? Or would a lack of response be interpreted as condoning violence?
"We keep hearing from people, 'Why aren't American Muslims speaking up?' 'Why aren't American Muslims denouncing terrorism and these brutal Muslims?'" Zufari said. "We are, over and over again."
Later, she issued a statement that, much like the ones before it denouncing the beheadings of Nick Berg and Paul M. Johnson Jr., said, "The Central Florida Muslim Community emphatically condemns the brutal, evil murder of South Korean, Kim Sun-il. . . . Terrorism and murder are expressly forbidden by God in Islam."
Every act of terrorism, every barbaric brutality, that happens in the Middle East sends tremors through the lives of the estimated 35,000 Muslims living in Central Florida. They brace for the anger, frustration and ugliness that spews from people who mistake them for the enemy instead of fellow Americans...