The opening next Wednesday of the National September 11 Memorial Museum at Ground Zero has engendered numerous debates due to the enormous sensitivity of the subject material.
Conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza joined “The Kelly File’s” guest host Shannon Bream to discuss the immense pressure brought upon the makers of a 7-minute film describing the attack, not to use the terms “Islamic extremist” and “jihadism;” was that realistic?
Harris Zafar, national spokesperson for Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and Director of Youth Outreach, responded that he objected to “using words such as Islamist to describe horrific acts of violence and murder as if to imply they are consistent with the teachings of Islam.”
He said more nuance and careful phraseology was needed, and that the museum should use the language of then-President Bush, that “there was nothing Islamic about what happened on 9-11.”
Zafar agreed that “people who commit these atrocities act under the name of jihad, but this is not the true meaning of the word jihad. What you’re doing is alienating the people who can help resolve this issue, the Muslims.”
“Jihad is the true struggle to do good and also defend what the true teachings of Islam are,” he said. We [the moderates] want to use the authentic, documented teachings of Islam to defeat this hatred ideology that the cowards hide behind.”
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D’Souza took exception to this parsing. The conservative commentator and author said it is a fact that the vast majority of terrorist acts that happen these days do occur in the Muslim world or in the name of Islam.
“Now the terrorists who did 9-11 said they were doing it in the name of Islam,” he continued. “So it becomes a little weird for us to say, ‘No, you’re not. You actually have other motives, you’re outlaws.’ These were very pious Muslims who did what they did in the name of Islam.”
There are different types of jihad, D’Souza said, “but the predominant type of jihad has been in fact historically, holy war. Muslims committing violence to spread the faith, going back to the 7th Century.”
He described the debate between Western society and radical Islam as a “civil war in the mind of the liberal” and inferred that the liberals’ commitment to multiculturalism would backfire.
Click here to view the entire debate.
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