Terror Trials Will Pose Tough Questions about Islam

By Rodgers, Walter | The Christian Science Monitor, December 21, 2009 | Go to article overview

Terror Trials Will Pose Tough Questions about Islam


Rodgers, Walter, The Christian Science Monitor


If Islam is a religion of peace, why do so many Westerners find it scary?

The coming trials of 11 Muslim men in the United States for several separate acts of mass murder will sharply refocus attention on Islamic theology. It will also present the Muslim world with a "moment of truth."

How the Ummah, the global Muslim community, reacts will be a crucial test of how the American public judges the mantra "Islam is a religion of peace."

Political correctness aside, the jury is still out in the court of American public opinion.

Some time in the coming year, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other Guantanamo detainees are to be tried in a civilian criminal court in New York for plotting the 9/11 terror attacks and for the mass murder of nearly 3,000 people. Five others will be tried before a military tribunal on separate charges including the attack on the warship USS Cole that killed 17 sailors.

In a separate court martial, Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan will face charges of murdering 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas, reportedly because, as a Muslim, he found it morally repugnant to participate in wars against the Ummah in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Why is Islam so scary to Westerners?

The trials will raise tough questions about Islam itself, a faith with 1.5 billion adherents.

For example, if Islam is a religion of peace, why do so many Westerners find it scary? Violent Muslim reaction to perceived insults is a major reason. In 2004, Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh was killed for making a documentary critical of Islam. A year later, more than 200 people died in riots and bombings after a Danish newspaper published cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad. Intimidation now runs deep: Yale University Press this year refused to reprint the cartoons in a scholarly book about the incident for fear of inciting violence.

The second question these trials will raise is about Muslim loyalty. To whom do American Muslims show their primary allegiance: to the teachings of the Holy Koran or to our secular government? Mr. Hasan is not the first Muslim in the military to kill fellow soldiers because of divided loyalties. In 2003, Sgt. Hasan Akbar murdered two US soldiers with a grenade. He was presumably fueled by religious resentment.

Concern over divided loyalty has long dogged minorities in America. Half a century ago, presidential candidate John F. Kennedy, a Roman Catholic, was publicly asked if he owed his primary loyalty to the US Constitution or to the pope in Rome.

More recently, another American citizen, Jonathan Pollard, a Jew, was sentenced to life imprisonment for spying for Israel. Mr. Pollard now sits in federal prison because he was more loyal to Israel than to his native America.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Terror Trials Will Pose Tough Questions about Islam
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.