The Washington Post Publishes Al-Marayati's Op-ed on Need to Counter Violent Extremism

April 24, 2013

On April 24, 2013, The Washington Post published an op-ed by Salam Al-Marayati, the President of the Muslim Public Affairs Council. The piece, “Islam Dragged through the Mud by Extremists,” addresses how we as a community must go beyond rhetoric to allocating more resources in countering violent extremism.

The problem does not sit within our mosques. We need to deal with lone wolf types who, like the Tsarnaev brothers, have been shown to be susceptible to extreme and hateful messages posted online from "clerics" abroad. In the op-ed, Al-Marayati directly addresses how we must all work together to push back against online radicalization.

SEE: “Islam Dragged through the Mud by Extremists” (The Washington Post)

The op-ed reads, in part:

Terrorism has no faith. Every act of terrorism is a cowardly and criminal act. It is a manifestation of despair, which faith considers a sin. Yet religion does play a role in all of our lives, and just like mental illness, religious ideology can be twisted to be a motivating factor for violent behavior. That’s a reality...

...We must go beyond rhetoric to the allocation of more resources in countering violent extremism.

Countering extremism also requires a major ideological battle between moderates and extremists. It is the responsibility of community leaders, not law enforcement, to promote Islam’s theology of life, while extremists promote the cult of death; to be pluralist, not exclusivist, and to use critical thinking and not follow anyone blindly. We have to establish resolve as a nation to work together and end the scourge of terrorism. A collective attitude of determination will help us prevail...

...Shunting radicals from our mosques is a rational reaction. It is testimony to the rejection by American Muslims of any al-Qaeda ideology. The problem has been shifted from immunizing mosques from extremism to dealing with lone wolf types who have been shown to be susceptible to extreme and hateful messages posted online from so-called sheikhs abroad. Disgruntled individuals can be lured by a desire to belonging, only to be led to killing and death by those who sit on empty thrones of self-righteousness. Much like gang prevention, countering violent extremism will need more allocation of resources and focused work.

As the story has developed, MPAC staffers and leaders have been featured on dozens of local, national and international media outlets, such as the LA Times, the Associated Press, BBC and USA Today, to share their perspectives on the attacks, countering violent extremism, Islamophobia and much more.

Click here to see all of MPAC's comments and press coverage of the Boston Marathon Bombing.



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