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All Muslim Clerics Must Condemn Terrorists

January 06, 2002

Re "Hope for Jews, Muslims," Commentary, Dec. 30:

Professor Benjamin Hubbard is a fine scholar, a great teacher and a man I'm proud to have as a friend. His commentary is thoughtful and well-written.

But I must comment. May his last paragraph go from his keyboard to God's ears: "Hope has a power in and of itself to break deadlocks. May it prevail in the year ahead." But we in the West need more than hope--we need reality. Until a majority of Muslim clerics and scholars condemn suicide murders of innocent civilians (everywhere in the world!), I will tend to distrust the Islamic world.

I cannot forget that there were few neo-Nazis in Europe who attacked the movie "Schindler's List," but it was attacked widely in the Muslim world. History is a catalog of struggles of civilizations, sometimes peaceful and sometimes not. Islamists, Wahhabites and Jihadists know Islam will lose a peaceful jihad with the West. The Jihadists are a powerful minority in the Muslim world; the majority is not yet committed.

A decisive military victory in Afghanistan, followed by humanitarian aid, will sway many. It may take one or two more such demonstrations to tilt the Muslim balance to the West. Normative Islam is a fine monotheistic religion, and Hubbard's peaceful humanitarian appeal for hope is noble. Neville Chamberlain also gave the West hope in 1938 for "peace in our time." My desire is that Hubbard's hope is fulfilled; my anxiety is that it is not congruent with reality.

Devon Showley

Professor emeritus

Cypress College

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