Earlier today I co-hosted Jay Sekulow Live for a full hour, and caller after caller lit up our board to decry the embassy attacks of September 11 and ask, “Where are the more moderate Muslim voices? Why are the radicals so dominant?” I answered from my experience in Iraq with one word: “Fear.” In nations where jihadists live, speaking out can mean death. There were many Iraqi Muslims who hated the jihadists, or “takfiris” as they called them, but until we were able to clear al Qaeda from a village or region, their revulsion was often expressed in hushed whispers. In a nation like Egypt — dominated as it is by the Muslim Brotherhood — dissent is dangerous.
I am so used to the fear and silence of dissenting Muslims, that this blog from a fellow Patheos blogger Nancy Shehata felt like a surprising blast of cool air on a hot and miserable day:
I am so god damned tired of this. Sorry, I just can’t find any literary way to put that. I am so god damned tired of Muslims allowing themselves to be manipulated by a god damned low-budget stupid YOUTUBE VIDEO. This low-rent video was put together by a few bigoted individuals who should have been ignored. Instead, they have found fame in infamy. Their worthless little film was used by “radical Muslims” to pull the strings of ignorant puppets, to whip up a crowd into a frenzied mob, to incite people to murder. I am shocked but not surprised by the film. I am horrified and really, really pissed off at my Muslim brothers.
There are no outside enemies who are hurting us worse than we are hurting ourselves. As long as schoolgirls in Afghanistan fear acid attacks, as long as a widow who wants to remarry fears death at the hands of her son if she does, as long as billionaires are financing ego-stroking skyscrapers while orphans are starving, as long as heroin smugglers are hiding their product in the corners of mosques and markets, as long as girls are sold into marriage to pay of debts, as long as children are being abandoned to popular culture, as long as we Muslims are not living according to Islam, we will be the worst human beings in the world. It’s not the U.S, it’s not the U.N. It’s not the satellite dishes or the fashions or chemtrails or anything else. It’s us, damn it. We’re falling short. We are not living correctly according to the Qur’an and Sunnah, we are not fulfilling our roles as the Khalifahs and role models for this planet, and as a result Allah has removed His blessing from us. Our problem, not theirs.
These are brave words. If uttered in parts of the Middle East, these words would be a death sentence. I don’t know Nancy Shehata, and I’m not familiar with her other writings, but on this day she said what needed to be said. And for that, I’m grateful.