Day By Day

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

What He Is Thinking

British PM Gordon Brown has come in for a lot of ridicule recently for his refusal to refer to the "Doctors' Plot" terrorists as "Muslims." An explicit comparison is being drawn between him and J. K. Rowling's fictional Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, who refuses to speak the name of Harry Potter's arch foe, Lord Voldemort. [here, for instance] But perhaps Brown's reticence makes sense.

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.

So Gordon Brown is saying nothing more or less than what moderate Muslims are saying -- that al Qaeda is not Muslim, and should not be identified as such. President Bush has said much the same -- that al Qaeda represents a "perversion" of Islam, rather than true Islam [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".