Opinion » Guest Opinions

Waiting for Moslem Outrage. Still.


Sherlock Holmes once solved a crime when he realized something that was supposed to happen, had not: The dog did not bark.

So in the days following the London terror attacks, as we try to find out not just who did it, but who is responsible for it, we must ask which dogs are barking. And which are not.

Just a few weeks ago, the dogs were barking across the Muslim world when it was reported that Americans may have mistreated a copy of the Koran while interrogating suspected terrorists. We remember the riots and the 18 dead.

We remember the outrage around the world at the big bad Americans who somehow offended the rather delicate Moslem sensibilities. We remember the protests with many of the signs, interestingly enough, printed in English. They were quite angry that we caught just a few of the people who have declared a holy war on us.

But today, 50 people are dead on the streets of London, and we wait for the outrage from Moslem newspapers, Moslem television, Moslem mosques. Moslem streets. Moslem cafes. And we wait. And wait.

It is not there. Not London. Not anywhere. Oh yes, a few Moslem bureaucrats in London made a few conciliatory remarks. But where was everyone else? Where are the Moslem bumper stickers proclaiming "Not In Our Name?"

The list goes on: In the name of Allah, our citizens are beheaded; authors threatened; people kidnapped; planes flown into towers: To even begin this list of atrocities begs the question: Where do we begin? How do we end? If we listed even a small portion of the outrages performed day after day, week after week, year after year, in the name of Allah, in the name of the "Muslim Village," it would fill up this, and many other news pages.

But this is a question most of us dare not ask. At least not in public.

Few may ask the question, but many still answer it. They say, as British Prime Minister Tony Blair did hours after the attacks, that this is the work of just a few radicals who do not represent the overwhelming majority of Muslims.

Fair enough.

Now perhaps we can get a few Moslems around the world to say the same thing.Curiously, they do not. Stranger still, few in the press expect them to. Instead, we are assaulted with demands that even in the wake of this violence in the name of Allah, we must protect the freedom of Muslims who refuse to condemn it.

And if truth be told, even the many who rejoice in it.

It is almost enough to make some nostalgic for the 90's, when the biggest religious boogie man was the so-called Christian Right, who somehow were really bad because in the name of their God they didn't like strips clubs and free abortions.

Remember the bumper stickers? Hate is Not a Family Value. Jerry Falwell never cut the head off any of his opponents, though looking back, many treated him as if he had.

But year after year, the same group of people commit the same kind of atrocities in the name of the same religion, yet it is still outside the bounds of public discourse to wonder if there is any connection between their beliefs and these acts.

Our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan don't wonder: They know how often they find guns and bombs hidden inside Mosques. In the Western world, we know many mosques are centers of activity for many of the people who commit these acts.

But not for the people who condemn them.

The dogs of outrage are not barking. Maybe we should start asking why not. Before they bite again.