Friday, February 24, 2006

Moderation Under Fire

There seems to be a general opinion in Weblogistan and beyond that there is a dearth of "moderate Muslims." This isn't helped by the fact that Muslims only ever make the Western press when they blow something up. Of course, the problem has only become worse since the Muhammad cartoon controversy.

After the golden dome of the Askariya shrine in Samarra, one of the holiest sites for Shiites, was destroyed by bombers, Iraq's leading Shiite cleric did something unprecedented. Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani made an exceedingly rare television appearance to urge his followers to protest this immense crime against their faith peacefully and to refrain from making reprisals on Sunnis or their mosques.

So, we have an extremely powerful and well-respected Islamic leader calling for restraint and peaceful protest. And this isn't over some cartoons half a world away, it's about a direct and obvious attack on a holy place. Sounds like moderation to me, and at a time when it really counts.

I'd like to say, "get blogging", but I'm resigned to the notion that there's no point. People who can't find moderation in the Muslim world simply aren't looking. And they're probably not looking for a reason.
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