Amsterdam Imam: We Cannot Say Terrorism 'Has Nothing to do With Islam'

How far can one voice carry?

One of the great impediments to defeating or at least curbing terrorism is the unwillingness of so many to acknowledge that Islam is to blame. Leftists are very happy to criticize Christian "right wingers" for their "backwards" views all day long, but never deign to question the violent tenets of the Islamic faith that catalyze so many Muslims to wreak havoc across the globe. 

We often ask where the moderate Muslims are in speaking out against the carnage carried out daily in their faith's name. Every once in a while, we find one. 

Imam Yassin el Forkani a youth cleric practicing in Amsterdam, has come out to warn the "thou shalt not blame Islam crowd" saying, "we cannot continue saying that this [terrorism] has nothing to do with Islam." 

"The harsh reality is that the attackers theologically legitimize their actions. We can not avoid it. We can not continue saying that this has nothing to do with Islam," El Forkani told the Volkskrant on Saturday.

According to NLTimes, the 32-year-old religious leader, along with a delegation from the Contact Committee Muslims and Government, laid flowers in front of the French embassy in The Hague as a show of respect for the terror victims. 

El Forkani has also been active on social media, calling on fellow Muslims to renounce terrorism and take responsibility. In fact, he has even gone so far as to say that Muslims who do not want to speak out against Islamic terrorism are "from another planet." 

Of course, he has been met with the usual backlash.

“Do not again end up in useless discussions”, he tweeted, referring to the time following the attack on Charlie Hebdo in January. Then many Muslims reacted indignantly to the call to distance themselves from the violence because they felt that they have nothing to do with the terrorism. But this can no longer be the case, according to El Forkani. “You have to come from another planet to not want to speak out as a Muslim. Through the timing and size, you as Muslim can no longer look away” he said to the newspaper. The young Imam urges the Muslim community to fight against ISIS’ interpretation of the Koran, not only in mosques and educational, but also in smaller circles. “When you as parent talk to your children about faith, or in discussions in tea or coffee houses. ” El Forkani said, adding that claiming that the texts ISIS use do not exist is the wrong strategy. “The texts exist. It is about their interpretation.”

While it can be argued that the ISIS "interpretation" the imam speaks of is in fact the literal one, his efforts to at least acknowledge Islam's base elements and call on fellow Muslims to break their silence is laudable. Unfortunately, a single voice can only carry so far.