Opinion: "A Muslim Manifesto"

March 1, 2006

Source: National Review


On March 1, 2006 the National Review ran an opinion piece by Mustafa Akyol, a writer and journalist based in Turkey and Zeyno Baran, director of International Security and Energy Programs at The Nixon Center, that commented, "'Who are the moderate Muslims, and why do they not speak up?' After being asked this question over and over again since 9/11, particularly after the Danish cartoon crisis, we decided to propose the following Muslim Manifesto: 'Recently, the disrespectful cartoons about Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) published in Jyllands-Posten resulted in an extreme reaction among many Muslims worldwide. While we understand the feelings of our co-religionists, we strongly urge them to refrain from rage and violence. A zeal for Allah is rightful only when it is expressed in an enlightened manner, since Allah himself has ordained a restrained response... We also believe that terrorist acts can never be justified or excused. None of the challenges Muslims face, such as oppression or military occupation, can justify attacks against non-combatants... We support and cherish democracy � not because we reject the sovereignty of the Almighty over people, but because we believe that this sovereignty is manifested in the general will of people in a democratic and pluralistic society. We do not accept theocratic rule-not because we do not wish to obey Allah, but because theocratic rule inevitably becomes rule by fallible (and sometimes corrupt and misguided) humans in the name of the infallible God... In short, we strongly disagree with and condemn those who promote or practice tyranny and violence in the name of Islam. We hope that their misguided deeds will not blacken our noble religion � which is indeed a path to God and a call for peace... We encourage Muslim political, social, community and business leaders to contact us at info@muslimmanifesto.org to sign onto the Manifesto so that the authentic peaceful and civilized message of Islam will be heard."