Boston Muslims Struggle to Wrest Image of Islam From Terrorists

To be Muslim in America today means to be held responsible, or to fear you may be, for the brutal acts of others whose notion of what Allah demands is utterly antithetical to your own. For the diverse crowd that prays at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, where professors at nearby universities mix with freshly arrived immigrants from Somalia and Egypt, it means hearing the word “Islamic” first thing each morning in news reports on an infamous extremist group. It means a kind of implied collective responsibility, however illogical, for beheadings in Syria, executions in Iraq and bombs in Boston.
Ian Thomas Jansen-Lonnquist for The New York Times
Ian Thomas Jansen-Lonnquist for The New York Times
The Obama administration, worried about recruiting of young Americans by Islamic State extremists, chose Boston last fall as one of three cities for aCountering Violent Extremism pilot program. The idea is to brainstorm ways to combat recruitment by all militants, including antigovernment groups and white supremacists. But the plan has divided Muslims in Boston and the other two cities, Minneapolis and Los Angeles.

In Germany, dealing with potential Jihad fighters

After a conference the German Interior Minister, Thomas de Maizière, announced that radical Islamists should be hindered to travel to war zones in order to join Jihad. This should be achieved by substituting the original ID card with a document which does not allow for exit. Indirectly, the ministry is also addressing the issue of Jihad fighters returning from Iraq/Syria and becoming a potential threat for the German society in general. Rolf Jäger, chairperson of the Interior Minister’s Conference, emphasized on the double strategy of repression and prevention needed in order to stop radicalization. In relation to this Heiko Maaß, Federal Minister of Justice, suggested to tighten law regulations concerning two significant points: Firstly, people should be held accountable when funding terrorism and secondly, people should be held accountable for already leaving Germany in the attempt to pursue an act of violence as well as receive any training in this regard (there is no legal punishment for both within the given legal framework). Members of the Christian Democratic Union criticized this proposal as one not going far enough and thereby inadequate. The Union argued that the proposal should also include the mere promotion of a terrorist organization such as ISIS/ISIL. Meanwhile, the interior ministry of Bavaria has deported the Salafist Erhan A. to Turkey, after his endorsement of ISIS/ISIL, its ideological framework as well as the beheadings.

Controversial Cleric, Abu Qatada, condemns ISIS beheadings as against Islam

Abu Qatada, the controversial Muslim cleric deported from the UK for his extremist views, states that beheading of journalists are against Islamic teachings. Speaking from his courtroom cell in Jordan, he told journalists: “Messengers should not be killed,” quoting the prophet Muhammad. The Salafist preacher has been in Jordan since last July, deported from the UK and detained awaiting retrial on two decade-old terrorism charges. The cleric, once described as “Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe”, is influential among Jordanian Salafists, who follow his statements on Syria, Iraq and extremist groups issued from behind bars.