THE SILENCE OF MUSLIM LEADERS IS DEAFENING; Congressional Record Vol. 159, No. 82
(House of Representatives - June 11, 2013)

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[Pages H3258-H3259]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




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               THE SILENCE OF MUSLIM LEADERS IS DEAFENING

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from 
Kansas (Mr. Pompeo) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. POMPEO. Mr. Speaker, it's been just under 2 months since the 
attacks in Boston, and in those intervening weeks, the silence of 
Muslim leaders has been deafening. And that is sad, but perhaps most 
importantly, it's dangerous.
  There have now been at least a dozen attacks by Muslim terrorists on 
U.S. soil since Ramzi Yousef's parked rental van exploded in the 
basement of the World Trade Center on February 26 of 1993. Some have 
caused death and injury, such as the 9/11 attacks in 2001 and Nidal 
Hasan's mass shooting at Fort Hood, Texas.
  Other attacks, such as Faisal Shahzad's fizzled Times Square bombing, 
or the unsuccessful underwear bombing of a flight, were thwarted or 
aborted.
  But yet, fatal or not, all of these attacks were successful in 
scaring Americans, successful in reducing our freedom in the most 
freedom-loving Nation on Earth, successful in slowing our economy, and 
successful in demonstrating that an open society can potentially be 
vulnerable.
  They were, in former Attorney General Mike Mukasey's words, ``crimes 
that are nonetheless meant to send a terrorist message.''
  When the most devastating terrorist attacks on America in the last 20 
years come overwhelmingly from people of a single faith, and are 
performed in the name of that faith, a special obligation falls on 
those that are the leaders of that faith. Instead of responding, 
silence has made these Islamic leaders across America potentially 
complicit in these acts and, more importantly still, in those that may 
well follow.
  If a religion claims to be one of peace, Mr. Speaker, its leaders 
must reject violence that is perpetrated in its name. Some clerics 
today suggest that modern jihad is nonviolent, and is only about making 
oneself a better Muslim. Perhaps that's true for moderate Muslims. But 
extremists seek to revive the era when most Islamic clerics understood 
jihad to be holy war.
  Mr. Speaker, decades of Middle Eastern oil money have propounded this 
more extreme, violent interpretation in mosques around the world. Less 
than 2 months after the 9/11 atrocities, an Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood 
preacher, who is probably the most influential Sunni cleric today, 
declared suicide bombing to be legitimate. He said, ``these are heroic 
commando and martyrdom attacks and should not be called suicide.''
  So what is it that these Islamic leaders must say?
  First, that there is never any justification for terrorism. No 
political goal legitimizes terrorism. Terrorism is never excusable as 
resistance. Imams must state unequivocally that terrorists' actions, 
killing and maiming, sully Islam.
  They must also publicly and repeatedly denounce radical clerics who 
seek to justify terrorism. There is a battle of interpretation within 
Islam. It's not enough to deny responsibility by saying one's own 
interpretation doesn't support terrorism. Moderate imams must strive to 
ensure that no Muslim finds solace for terrorism in the Koran. They 
must cite the Koran as evidence that the murder of innocents is not 
permitted by good, believing Muslims, and must immediately refute all 
claims to the contrary.
  Finally, Muslim leaders must say that there is no room for militant 
Islamism in the religion of peace. These statements must be made 
publicly, frequently and in the mosques, yes, in the mosques and in the 
madrassas, where many learn their Islamic religion.
  You know, we have to call evil by its name in order to stamp it out. 
Downplaying atrocities and rampages ensures more of them. Every Muslim 
leader must unequivocally proclaim that terror committed in the name of 
Islam violates the core tenets of the Prophet Mohammed, and they must 
do so repeatedly, period.
  My own faith has occasionally been hijacked in the name of violence 
and cruelty, including in Kansas, my home State, by Fred Phelps and his 
Westboro Baptist Church. In response, hundreds of Protestant ministers 
preach that Mr. Phelps' actions violate the most fundamental Christian 
traditions, and they have denounced him and his church's evil acts.
  Pope John Paul II similarly apologized, in 2000, for the Catholic 
Church's failure to do more to speak out against the evils of Nazism, 
and to protect Jews from the Holocaust.
  Just as these religious leaders have called up those who have killed 
and acted brutally in the name of their faith, so too must Muslim 
religious leaders refute terrorist theology.
  We're now 2 decades into Islamic radicals attacking Americans on U.S.

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soil. I know that not every Muslim supports these actions. Dr. Zuhdi 
Jasser of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy has spoken out in a 
clear and consistent way. So has Zainab al-Suwaij of the American 
Islamic Congress.
  But the silence in the face of extremism coming from the best-funded 
Islamic advocacy organizations and many mosques across America is 
absolutely deafening. It casts doubt upon the commitment to peace by 
adherents of the Muslim faith. This is utterly unacceptable, it is 
dangerous, it must end.

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