On October 30th, our local paper, the Fredericksburg Freelance-Star, ran an editorial piece by Paul Akers, the Freelance-Star's opinion pages editor, titled "Why Islam Didn't Conquer The World". The article discusses the Battle of Tours in 732, in which a Muslim army led by Abd er Rahman was defeated by a European army led by Charles Martel. I can't attest to the accuracy of all the points made in the article, but it made for interesting reading.
Within a day or so, letters to the editor of the Freelance-Star started pouring in from all over the country. The vast majority of those out-of-state letters were from Muslims expressing outrage over the depiction of Islam, and included rants about the Christian Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, etc.
The sheer volume of the letters led me to wonder if the article had been picked up by other newspapers. To the best of my knowledge, opinion pieces from our little ol' hometown paper are not widely syndicated. So, what led to this rapid response in defense of Islam?
A quick Google search for Mr. Akers' article revealed only a handful of hits -- 18 to be exact, ten of which Google deemed "relevant". One of them was my own blog entry prior to this one. A few were the article itself from the Freelance-Star's web site and a few blogs which included or referenced the article. One of those blogs was islamdaily.net, which claims to be "Watching global Islamic relations for better understanding".
Islam Daily appears to be one of those sites that trolls the 'net for relevant news items, in their case relevant meaning news items relating to Islam. That's fair enough, and the site seems to carry a fair balance of views with regards to Islam. If you search the site, though, what's notably absent are any articles covering such recent events as the beheading of Christian schoolgirls in Indonesia or the attack on a Christian church in Egypt by Muslim mobs.
This indicates to me that while America's Muslim community is ever so vigilant for anything deemed insensitive to Islam, that same community completely disregards atrocities committed in the name of their faith. Where is their outrage when their co-religionists lop off the heads of teenaged Christian girls? Where is their outrage when Muslims in southern Thailand force shopkeepers to observe the Muslim sabbath at the risk of having their ears cut off?
The silence of the supposedly moderate Muslim world makes them complicit in these acts. Until moderate Islam speaks up and starts condemning these acts in both word and deed, the non-Muslim world will continue to view Islam with suspicion.