Some U.S. Muslim leaders, scholars and commentators also saw through the ruse. Omid Safi, who teaches religion at Colgate University, said the fatwa did not go far enough, " . . . I would be more inclined to say there are elements of extremism in many parts of our tradition. Rather than simply saying these are not a part of Islam, I would acknowledge that these trends are there and do away with them."
Muqtedar Khan, author of "American Muslims: Bridging Faith and Freedom," said of the fatwa, "They should have been at least specific about events, if not individuals or organizations. They did not condemn al Qaeda or [Osama] bin Laden. It would have had more punch to end all these claims that American Muslims are not doing enough to end terrorism if they had."
What does the Council on American-Islamic Relations say about these critics? Its spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper, said the Council failed to mention persons or groups because "it would have been a laundry list"! Hooper added, "I think you can safely regard anyone listed on the State Department list [of terrorist groups] as included." Such a list might include groups like Hamas. But according to terrorism expert Emerson, "CAIR has repeatedly attacked the prosecutions of Islamic terrorists arrested and/or convicted since 9-11 and has attacked the government's freezing of Islamic terrorist fronts as part of a 'war against Islam' by the United States. CAIR has led protests against the deportation of radical Islamic clerics who have called for Jihad or who have been fundraisers for Hamas."
Since CAIR does not wish to list names, they might consider amending their fatwa, along the following lines:
1. It is a sin for a Muslim to kill a non-Muslim, except in self-defense. And Islam is not, we repeat, not, under attack.
2. The Israeli-Palestinian struggle represents a dispute between two legitimate nationalist movements. This dispute must be resolved peacefully between the two parties.
3. Islam is not incompatible with democracy.
Short and sweet. No names named. But this statement acknowledges the extremism operating under its name in Islam, and it rejects the idea that the West and the "Zionists" threaten Islam.
Ahmed H. al-Rahim, who teaches Arabic and Islamic studies at Harvard University, urges fellow Muslims worldwide to specifically condemn Islamic religious terrorism: " . . . [W]hat is more shameful is that there are no mass Muslim protests to speak of against terrorism that is committed in our name."
Now, how about a real fatwa?