Murdoch: Muslims bear responsibility for terrorism

Protests against the recent terrorism in France should have been held in Muslim capitals

Abdulrahman al-Rashed
Abdulrahman al-Rashed
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Protests against recent terrorist attacks in France should have been held in Muslim capitals and not in Paris because Muslims stand accused in this case; embroiled in this crisis and expected to declare their innocence. The tale of extremism began in Muslim societies and it’s with their support and silence that extremism grew into terrorism which is harming people across the world. It’s of no value for the French people, who are the victims here, to take to the streets to condemn the recent crimes. What’s required here is for Muslim communities to disown the Paris crime and Islamic extremism in general.

Politicians do not act as they are afraid of angering the few extremists in their societies and because they don’t care if the world beyond their borders burns as a result of their negligence

Abdulrahman al-Rashed

Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch said on Twitter on Friday: “Maybe most Moslems [are] peaceful, but until they recognize and destroy their growing jihadist cancer they must be held responsible.” In another tweet, he added: “Big jihadist danger looming everywhere from Philippines to Africa to Europe to US. Political correctness makes for denial and hypocrisy.”

Harsh words

Murdoch’s harsh words echo the statements of many leaders who are tired of often-repeated excuses as terrorism-related crimes increase in frequency. Let’s keep in mind that France was the last Western fort to defend and sympathize with Arab causes. France was the only Western country to vote in support of establishing a Palestinian state a few weeks ago at the U.N. Security Council. France also stood against the regime of Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah when former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri was killed. Also it is one of the only countries to support the Syrian revolution. There’s no justification for some Arab media figures’ allegations excusing extremists’ crimes. As a matter of fact, by justifying these crimes some Arab journalists and intellectuals become no less criminal than the perpetrators of those attacks.

We must be aware of the gravity of equivocation and silence over extremism. Europeans were widely and locally admired in the 19th century and in the first half of the 20th century. However, when the Germans became extremist, adopting the Nazi mentality, the Europeans destroyed Europe and more than 40 million people were killed in the ensuing war. What we see today is also fascism dressed in Muslim garb, fascism which is wreaking havoc across the world and threatening it and it will lead the world to clashing point. At this point, the few respectful people who defend Islam and Muslims will fall silent and the voice of the majority demanding to discipline Muslims, including governments, organizations and individuals, will increase. The world is running out of patience as it watches people being slaughtered in the name of Islam and as it sees children being kidnapped in Nigeria in the name of Islam and as women are raped in northern Iraq also in the name of Islam. While these crimes do not concern them much, because are happening in Muslim countries, Western nations will not keep silent over extremist Muslims and those who support them when they commit crimes in Paris, New York, London and Moscow. The global public opinion now hates Muslims and does not distinguish between an extremist Muslim and a peaceful Muslim. This will push politicians towards confrontation and I expect the current French president to pay the price of his sympathy towards Arabs and he may be succeeded by the most radical of politicians who oppose Islam and Muslims.


At this stage the responsibility does not fall on Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), or on Abu Mohammed al-Golani, leader of the al-Nusra Front, or on a bunch of extremist preachers and mobs of journalists justifying crimes of terror. Political regimes bear responsibility here because they are the ones who are legally and intellectually responsible. In this case we are referring to the terrorist mentality which until this day grows and is funded in most Islamic countries. This happens because politicians do not act as they are afraid of angering the few extremists in their societies and because they don’t care if the world beyond their borders burns as a result of their negligence. The Charlie Hebdo incident, and before that the murder of 3,000 people in the Sept. 11 twin attacks, are only pit stops on the road to a large-scale confrontation.

This article was first published in Asharq al-Awsat on January 12, 2015.


Abdulrahman al-Rashed is the former General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. A veteran and internationally acclaimed journalist, he is a former editor-in-chief of the London-based leading Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, where he still regularly writes a political column. He has also served as the editor of Asharq al-Awsat’s sister publication, al-Majalla. Throughout his career, Rashed has interviewed several world leaders, with his articles garnering worldwide recognition, and he has successfully led Al Arabiya to the highly regarded, thriving and influential position it is in today.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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