I refer you to the latest dispatch from Michael Yon in which he interviews Abu Ali, a Sunni leader in Dialya who once fought against the Americans, but now has joined forces with us against al Qaeda. Ali is quoted:
Abu Ali said that on 1 April 2007, he and his people attacked al Qaeda in Buhriz for their crimes against Islam. He also said something that many Muslims have said to me: al Qaeda are not Muslims. (Both Sunni and Shia have said nearly the exact same words, at times on video.)
Before the tape was running, I asked Abu Ali why he and the 1920s [militia] turned against al Qaeda in Buhriz. Speaking through LT David Wallach, a native Arabic speaker, Abu Ali said that “al Qaeda is an abomination of Islam: cutting off heads, stealing people’s money, kidnapping . . . every type of torture they have done.”
Read it here.
Give the guy a break. He knows what he is doing and saying. It is al Qaeda that insists that the jihadis represent Islam. We should not accept that identification.
PS: I must admit that I, too, reacted badly to Brown's pronouncements (or lack of them) at first. [here] Consider my earlier writing on the subject..., shall we say, "inoperable".