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Inexcusable

A standing complaint of those who don't much like Muslims is that Muslims don't stand up when Islamic extremists commit acts of violence. In fact, they do, but their statements often get lost in news coverage. Here's what the Council on American-Islamic Relations and other Muslim organizations said at a news conference Wednesday:

"We condemn the disgraceful killings of the American diplomats in Libya in the strongest terms possible. We also condemn the attack on our nation's diplomatic facilities in Libya and Egypt. The actions of the attackers are totally inexcusable and un-Islamic. We agree with Secretary [Hillary] Clinton, who said that 'violence like this is no way to honor religion or faith.' The extremists who carried out these attacks deserve punishment, and the extremists who produced and promoted an intentionally inflammatory film deserve condemnation.

"Islamic traditions include a number of instances in which the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had the opportunity to retaliate against those who abused him, but refrained from doing so. ... We must not let extremists control the political or religious discourse."


A champion of Libya

Dina Duella, a Libyan-American, at an interfaith news conference sponsored by the Muslim Public Affairs Council:

"Anyone who knew the late Ambassador Chris Stevens knew he was one of the greatest champions of the Libyan revolution. There are really no words to express how shameful these acts have been. These dispicable attacks are the attacks of a few people and they are no way condoned by the vast majority of the Libyan people. This no way represents the religion of Islam, and this no way represents the Libyan people.

"There were some Libyans who died trying to save the ambassador and his staffers. Those Libyans who died are the true Muslims here and the true martyrs in this incident."


Was 9/11 preventable?

From an op-ed by Kurt Eichenwald in The New York Times based on reporting for his new book, "500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars":

"On Aug. 6, 2001, President George W. Bush received a classified review of the threats posed by Osama bin Laden ... [that] featured the now-infamous heading: 'Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.' A few weeks later, on 9/11, al-Qaida accomplished that goal.

"On April 10, 2004, the Bush White House declassified that daily brief -- and only that daily brief -- in response to pressure from the 9/11 Commission. ... Administration officials dismissed the document's significance, saying that, despite the jaw-dropping headline, it was only an assessment of al-Qaida's history, not a warning of the impending attack. While some critics considered that claim absurd, a close reading of the brief showed that the argument had some validity.

"That is, unless it was read in conjunction with the daily briefs preceding Aug. 6, the ones the Bush administration would not release. While those documents are still not public, I have read excerpts from many of them, along with other recently declassified records, and come to an inescapable conclusion: The administration's reaction to what Mr. Bush was told in the weeks before that infamous briefing reflected significantly more negligence than has been disclosed. In other words, the Aug. 6 document, for all of the controversy it provoked, is not nearly as shocking as the briefs that came before it."


Voter fraud, indeed

The Republican Herald of Pottstown calls Pennsylvania's voter ID law "a fraud masquerading as an attempt to fight fraud," then says: "Meanwhile, here in the commonwealth in the 225th anniversary year of the U.S. Constitution's adoption in Philadelphia, state lawmakers do nothing to increase participation in democracy.

"According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Pennsylvania is the most populous state to not adopt one or more measures to increase voter registration and participation. Most states have adopted at least one of four key measures: online voter registration, Election Day registration at polling places, early voting and no-excuse absentee voting. ...

"Incredibly, lawmakers who oppose such measures in Pennsylvania argue that such improvements are too costly. In many cases, they are the same lawmakers who imposed an estimated $11 million in costs on taxpayers to suppress voting through the voter ID law."

opinion_commentary

Greg Victor (gvictor@post-gazette.com).


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