Virtual Talmud

Iran’s President Ahmadinejad‘s latest declarations that the Holocaust is a myth and that Israel should be wiped off the face of this earth speak for themselves. What everyone is trying to figure out is just how seriously should we take what he says, and what if anything at all can we really do about it.

In recent days there has been much discussion regarding whether Israel or America should use force to stop Ahmadinejad and Iran from gaining nuclear capability. To be honest, I am sympathetic to such an argument. Power and force are not always unethical. Still, any use of force would inevitably only be a piecemeal solution. Even if we bombed their nuclear reactors, all we get is 10 years until the threat resurfaces. Physical force can only sidetrack someone with such a sick and horrid worldview.

Unfortunately, it seems that Ahmadinejad’s words are not an anomaly in the Muslim world. Even more depressing is that his comments are not only not condemned by Iran’s religious leaders but actually supported and encouraged. As reported by the AP, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei supported Ahmadinejad’s calls for Israel’s elimination. Instead of standing up to Ahmadinejad and others like him, religious leaders in the Muslim world continue to cheer on those who call for murder and violence. They try to cloak themselves in ethical garb, taking up the plight of the Palestinians when in truth, their blatant anti-Semitism only hurts the Palestinians cause.

The only thing that can save us from such violent dreams is Allah. Only Allah has the power to stop such people. Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric will only be stopped when Muslim clerics get out in front of their communities and condemn those who abuse Allah in such a manner.

So I ask: Where are those religious leaders in the Muslim world ready to take responsibility and fight for peace? No army, no Israeli air force strike, no missile has the strength these religious leaders could have in engendering peace and breeding a more tolerant atmosphere in the Middle East.

Though there are some in the Muslim community who have spoken up, why don’t we hear of any major Islamic clerics ready to put their life on the line in the name of saving Islam from itself? Why are there so many who are prepared to martyr themselves in the name of violence and destruction, but so few ready to give their lives for peace and pluralism. Why are there so few true martyrs in the Muslim world?

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