The New York Post's Ralph Peters, an expert on Mideast politics and a regular contributor to the New York Post, wrote of a deafening silence last week.
It was the silence of Islamic clerics who failed to condemn the Chechen rebels who are accused of seizing a school and1,200 children, parents and teachers in Beslan, a community in southern Russia.
The author of "Beyond Baghdad: Postmodern War and Peace," wrote of the brutality of the recent seizure in which at least 328 people died, more than half of them children.
"Meanwhile Islam's most powerful clerics look away," Peters wrote. "The world is still waiting for Islamic leaders and scholars to condemn the terrorist attack in Russia. Their silence has been heartbreaking. And silence in the face of atrocity is complicity."
Although observers maintain the flow of Islamic funding supporting Chechnya's separatist's movement has ebbed in recent years it's clear that Islamic goals are an important part of that movement.
If moderate Islamic clerics would condemn acts of terrorism such as the school seizure in Russia, it would increase their credibility by tenfold. It would clearly demonstrate that they want to advocate on behalf of their religion while separating themselves from radical elements who ruthlessly harm innocent men, women and children.
By saying nothing, Islamic clerics lend credence to those who paint with a broad brush and spread fear of the Islamic religion. The cost of remaining silent while radicals commit atrocities is extremely high. If the complicated political and religious tensions in the Mideast and Europe are ever going to be settled, it's going to require forward-thinking moderates to separate themselves from terrorists who kill innocents without remorse.
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