Muslim Introspection

| Fri Jul. 8, 2005 1:53 PM EDT

Well, someone must carry on the "Put Tom Friedman behind a $50 subscriber wall, now!" campaign, so let's wade through today's column. As we'd expect, by turns atrocious and asinine, even though he's trying to make what should be a good point, but this bit gave me a mini-aneurysm:

The Muslim village has been derelict in condemning the madness of jihadist attacks. ... To this day - to this day - no major Muslim cleric or religious body has ever issued a fatwa condemning Osama bin Laden.

To this day!, says Friedman. But luckily, in a flat world connected by the internet and globalization, we can pull up this old news story in about three seconds:

Spain's leading Islamic body has issued a religious order declaring Usama bin Ladin to have forsaken Islam by backing attacks such as the Madrid train bombings a year ago. The Islamic Commission of Spain timed its fatwa on Friday to coincide with the first anniversary of the attacks, which killed 191 people and were claimed in the name of al-Qaida in Europe.

That was three months ago, by the way. Anyway, for those who are actually interested in this topic, do read Marc Lynch's post: "Over the last six months or so, the radical jihadists have seemed to be on the political and intellectual defensive in the Arab and Muslim worlds." Is it happening fast enough? No, perhaps not. But the picture is far different from the one Friedman's using his column space to peddle. Meanwhile, both Sarah Wildman and Garance Franke-Ruta are taking a more in-depth look at the Muslim diaspora over at Tapped, both of which are worth reading.

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