Muslims in Hamas-controlled Gaza have formed an ad hoc terrorist group promising to attack Christian targets to avenge the Pope’s choice of a quotation insinuating that Islam is prone to violence.
The group, which calls itself the “Army of guidance,” sent an announcement to news agencies based in Gaza saying that “every place relevant to Christians will be a target until the cursed infidel – the Vatican – apologizes to Muslims.”
Hardline Islamic groups were offended by the Pope’s citing of a Byzantine emperor who criticized Islam’s founder Mohammad’s command to spread Islamic faith by the sword...
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THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Translation from Muslim world to all Christians; "Because your pope insinuated our religion is violent, we will now prove you wrong by killing you." Meanwhile, so-called "moderate Muslims" remain silent across the globe, criticizing Christians for "anti-Muslim" behavior, rather than terrorists for violence within their own religion. The following is from the 'Council on American-Islamic Relations,' which is a Muslim civil rights and advocacy group...
...In 2004, CAIR processed a total of 1,522 incident reports of civil rights cases compared to 1,019 cases reported to CAIR in 2003. This constitutes a 49 percent increase in the reported cases of harassment, violence and discriminatory treatment from 2003 and marks the highest number of Muslim civil rights cases ever reported to CAIR in our eleven year history.
In addition, CAIR received 141 reports of actual and potential violent anti-Muslim hate crimes, a 52 percent increase from the 93 reports received in 2003...
...Although not a scientific study, there are several factors which may have contributed to the increase in total number of reports to CAIR over the past year. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
In our conclusion, CAIR recommends that further congressional inquiries, inspector general reports from federal agencies and impact litigation continue to be used to ensure that the civil and legal rights of all Americans are never placed in jeopardy again.
- An ongoing and lingering atmosphere of fear since the September 11 attacks against American Muslims, Arabs and South Asians;
- The growing use of anti-Muslim rhetoric by some local and national opinion leaders;
- Local Muslim communities, through the opening of new CAIR chapters and regional offices, now have more mechanisms to monitor and report incidents to CAIR at the grassroots level;
- Following the infamous legacy of the USA PATRIOT Act, other federal legislation and policies which severely infringe on the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans continue to be passed;
- Increased public awareness about civil liberties and the impact of federal law enforcement initiatives on constitutional and civil rights.
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THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Though the violence against Muslim Americans is reprehensible, and those responsible should be prosecuted, I think there might be another reason why things have allegedly gotten worse for Muslims in the USA. Might I suggest the reason is because of a perceived (albeit often erroneous) connection Muslim Americans have with Muslims worldwide? The increased incidences of terrorism, and anti-western riots, as well as acts of blatant aggression like the type seen in Lebanon, have all contributed to the carcinogenic view most Americans now have of Islam in general. Naturally, Muslim Americans will be the first to suffer from this perception.
Unfortunately, a lot of this is human nature, and cannot be avoided no matter how much pro-Muslim "education" or "propaganda" (depending on how you look at it) is put out on the streets. There is, however, a simple solution to this whole problem that could potentially change the perception of American Muslims in a positive way forever. The solution is for American Muslims to get radical themselves -- radical for peace! If American Muslims were to shift the focus of their religious efforts toward regular demonstrations promoting peace and tolerance of non-Muslims, and against the violent tendencies of jihad (terrorism), this would capture the attention of most Americans. Indeed, many Christians and Jews might even be inclined to join them in these rallies. (How about some American Muslim demonstrations supporting the pope?) If American Muslims got out in front of the problem, rather than complaining about it, they could change the world for the better. But alas, I don't think we should hold our breath. One of the reasons why the radicals have taken over the religion is because the moderates aren't as passionate about Islam as they are. The radicals are willing to kill and die for their understanding of Islam. While the moderates have difficulty coordinating their resources and even getting their message out.