- - Tuesday, August 12, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Khaled Sharrouf and a buddy were arrested in Australia in 2007 for making bombs to use against civilians in Melbourne and Sydney. They pleaded guilty and were sentenced to four years in prison for “terrorist activity.”

When they were released, they stayed in Australia for a while and then slipped out the country on borrowed or stolen passports to get to the Middle East, there to fight “infidels” in the name of Allah. Earlier this week, Sharrouf posted photographs on his Facebook page to demonstrate what he has been up to since he left Australia. One of the photographs showed his son, age 7, holding up the severed head of an Iraqi soldier. Dad captioned it: “That’s my boy.”

Sharrouf’s fanatics-in-arms, including as many as 150 other Australian Muslims, are flying the black flag of the newly established Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, and looting villages, capturing women to serve as sex slaves, burying “infidel” families alive and beheading those who worship a different god than they. By week’s end, up to 150,000 Yazidi refugees fleeing ISIS were surrounded, trapped and starving on a mountaintop in the Iraqi desert. The world caught a glimpse of hell and even the slowest to anger began to see that these barbarians are serious.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott of Australia says Sharrouf’s photographs are evidence of the barbarism of the Islamic State and vows Australia will do what it can, which should be considerable, to rescue the fanatics under the black flag. He warns that they are far more than just another terrorist group. “It’s a terrorist army, and they’re seeking not just a terrorist enclave, but effectively a terrorist nation.”

The Australian defense minister has a different take. He says what is going on in Iraq is the gruesome work of lunatics who represent a “shocking misrepresentation of Islam.” This is no doubt correct; these “warriors” are as apt to kill fellow Muslims over arcane points of Islamic doctrine as to behead Yazidi “devil worshippers” and followers of the Christ, but it’s fair for the rest of the world to ask, “Where is the Muslim outrage?”

This is an organized army, not a band of lunatics. They boast they will one day raise their black flag over the White House, and they’re attracting support from jihadist Muslims not just from Australia, but from all over the world. The ISIS boasting demonstrates intent, if not a likely prospect, of flag-raising on Pennsylvania Avenue, and extremist recruiting in places like Australia goes well, because responsible Muslims, whether through fear or indifference, remain silent. Muslims who don’t want their religion tarred with the brush of barbarians must speak up now. Raising a loud voice would be a good project for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which is always eager to complain of American slights to Muslims.

If good Muslims think the crazies are misrepresenting the words and instructions of the Prophet Muhammad, they should say so, loud enough for all to hear. By their silence, they enable the perversion of their faith.