Monday, January 13, 2003
Friedman reports: New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, a liberal with whom I agree from time to time, has an interesting report on the Friday prayers at one of Egypt's mosques.
Thousands of Egyptian faithful went through their traditional prostrations and listened to the sermon by the sheik of Al Azhar, who spoke in measured tones about how God deals with "oppressors." At the end, he appealed to God to rescue the Palestinians. It was all very solemn and understated. And then the excitement started.
A split second after he finished, someone tossed in the air hundreds of political leaflets, and a young man was lifted onto the shoulders of the crowd and began denouncing "American tyranny." Hundreds of the faithful then marched around the mosque chanting behind him, while the silent majority shuffled out. It was as if you were seeing two services: first the state-run service and then the street-run service, where the real steam was let off. But here's what struck me most: While America came in for a lashing, no one in this crowd was chanting in support of Saddam Hussein.
What struck Friedman the most isn't what struck me the most -- and it's an indication of the main problem in Islam.
Hundreds of the faithful then marched around the mosque chanting behind him, while the silent majority shuffled out.
CAIR and its cohorts can decry how Muslims around the world are sometimes "stereotyped" as intolerant, hateful and sometimes violent -- but it's real problem is the "silent majority" that refuses to stand up against the violence perpetrated by their "brothers."