Muslims in France are increasingly taking a stand against jihadism, as a new campaign launched in the U.K. called “Not In My Name” spreads to the Continent. Now the campaign is gaining even more ground, due to the outrage and horror over the beheading of French mountain guide Hervé Gourdel by Algerian Islamists last week. The WSJ reports:
The video [of the beheading] stunned France, as did a message on Monday from Islamic State that made explicit threats to Westerners, calling on Muslims world-wide to target what it called the unbelievers, “especially the spiteful and filthy French.”A group of prominent French Muslims, including Senate Vice President Bariza Khiari, wrote an op-ed article Friday in the Le Figaro newspaper headlined “We also are c.” In the article, the group dissociated themselves from the killers of Mr. Gourdel, saying they don’t have the “right to claim to represent Islam or speak on our behalf.”
In addition, the “Not In My Name” campaign has the country’s Muslims posting “videos on Twitter and other social networks dissociating themselves from terrorist groups.” This kind of public opposition is important not only because it helps shore up opposition to jihadism among those who might be tempted by to support it, but also because it will help forestall a possible backlash against Europe’s Muslim population. It’s tragic that many ordinary Muslim citizens of European nations may face heightened suspicion, but especially as jihadists born or raised in the West continue to make headlines, the tension between Muslim communities and their neighbors is likely to grow.French Muslims aren’t the only ones standing against ISIS; recently a group of 126 international Muslim scholars sent an open letter to the self-proclaimed ISIS Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi arguing that ISIS’s regime and its brutality are theologically unjustifiable in terms of Islamic scripture, law, and tradition. We’d like to see more of this, please.