Monday, August 17, 2015

Mosques and Massacres

http://www.crisismagazine.com/2015/mosques-and-massacres

Mosques and Massacres

by William Kilpatrick
Crisis Magazine

Quotes:

On June 26, Saif Rezgui walked on to a beach in Tunisia and opened fire on German, British, and Irish sunbathers in front of the Imperial Marhaba resort hotel, killing 39 and wounding dozens more.
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There was one notable exception to the usual nothing-to-do-with-Islam mantra. Immediately after the attack, Tunisia’s prime minister, Habib Essid, ordered the closing of 80 mosques.
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Not all mosques are centers of extremist radicalization. On the other hand, it’s likely that the average Westerner grossly underestimates the percentage of radical mosques. Fr. Samir Khalil Samir, an Egyptian Jesuit who is also an expert on Islam, writes:
In many Muslim countries … the mosques are monitored by the police on Friday. There is a simple reason for this: many political decisions start from the mosque during the Friday khutba [sermon]. Historians of Islam know that many riots and revolutions were launched from the mosques and that jihad is often proclaimed during the khutba.
Not coincidentally, many of the Arab Spring demonstrations in 2011 were set in motion from mosques following Friday prayers. And again, it’s probably no coincidence that Rezgui scheduled his massacre for a Friday during the holy month of Ramadan.
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Christians assume that mosques, like churches, are simply places of prayer. Many of them are, but many mosques are also places of recruitment and radicalization—staging areas for jihad. Subsequent to the beach massacre, weapons caches were found in forty Tunisian mosques. As a popular Muslim poem puts it, “The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets, and the faithful our soldiers.”
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