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Islamic Leaders Must Be Held Responsible

The revelation that Britain’s suicide bombers were all British citizens, with their only link being Islam, places a heavy burden on Islamic leaders.

In brief, there are no more excuses. Any Islamic leader in a western democratic country who fails to resoundingly condemn such acts should be held accountable as an accomplice.

I would be in favor of modifying the U.S. Bill of Rights speech protections to exclude incitement to violence, especially in the form of “jihad” by religious leaders. Very specific and narrow language should be installed, such that this could not be allowed to trample on normal political discourse and questioning of the government. When a religion or belief system has a global track record of violence and terror such as Islam does today, it does not deserve protection–just as we do not protect those who yell “fire” in a crowded theater. I’m sure this could be ratified easily by the required number of states to become a constitutional amendment.

In order to maintain their status as members of the community in good standing, Islamic congregations in the U.S. and Europe should literally be out in the streets demonstrating against this violence. If they are not, then one can see that a tacit acceptance of the situation–a sort of wink and a nod–has permeated that belief system.

Am I overreacting? Then I challenge Islamists to prove me wrong. Get out there and mount a groundswell against the concept of jihad. Let’s see this being roundly criticized. Musim leaders must be held to a higher standard in their communities.

I applaud the efforts of the Free Muslims Coalition.

If the larger Islamic community doesn’t soon follow suit, then I think it’s time to start rounding up leaders one-by-one until every Muslim congregation in democratic nations is led by someone who is willing to unequivocally denounce terror.

UPDATE 7.21.05: ISLAMIC LEADER AFFIRMS TERROR AS JUSTIFIED

LONDON (Reuters) - Militant Islamists will continue to attack Britain until the government pulls its troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, one of the country’s most outspoken Islamic clerics said on Friday.

Speaking 15 days after bombers killed over 50 people in London and a day after a series of failed attacks on the city’s transport network, Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed said the British capital should expect more violence.

“What happened yesterday confirmed that as long as the cause and the root problem is still there … we will see the same effect we saw on July 7,” Bakri said.

“If the cause is still there the effect will happen again and again,” he said, adding he had no information about future attacks or contacts with people planning to carry out attacks.

Bakri, a Syrian-born cleric who has been vilified in Britain since 2001 when he praised the September 11 hijackers, said he did not believe the bombings and attempted attacks on London were carried out by British Muslims.

He condemned the killing of all innocent civilians but described attacks on British and U.S. troops in Muslim countries as “pro-life” and justified.

In an interview with Reuters, Bakri described Osama bin Laden, leader of the radical Islamist network al Qaeda, as “a sincere man who fights against evil forces.”

Bakri said he would like Britain to become an Islamic state but feared he would be deported before his dream was realized.

“I would like to see the Islamic flag fly, not only over number 10 Downing Street, but over the whole world,” he said.

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