Deafening Silence

Tom Friedman’s "Silence and Suicide" column in today’s New York Times deserves special mention, not only because he puts on the ombudsman’s hat in suggesting that his editors should have focused on a different story last week, but because it calls out one of the most frustrating things about the crisis in Islam today.

Why don’t we hear any Muslim voices of reason raised against the shrill cry of religious extremists who will kill their own people without compunction? 

An excerpt from the column follows:

When Sunni Muslim insurgents have no respect for the sanctity of Muslim lives, Muslim houses of worship or Muslim holy days – and no one from their own wider Sunni community really moves to restrain or censure them – then there are no boundaries anymore. No one is safe. Anything goes, against anyone, anywhere. If the Sunni Muslim world does not act to halt this genocidal ethnic-cleansing campaign against the Shiites of Iraq, which this week included a teacher’s being dragged from a classroom and shot in front of his students, the Sunni world will eventually be consumed by this very violence. A civilization that tolerates suicide bombing is itself committing suicide.

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