ADL Leader: Islamic Extremism 'Dark And Growing Danger' To Democracies
Atlanta, GA, October 27, 2006 … Islamists, especially those who represent the violent Jihadist variant, "operate in a world without limits and without scruples," the head of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said today in a major address in which he outlined responses Western leaders and nations should take in facing down the "dark and growing danger" of Islamic extremism.
"Radical Islamists are arming their faithful with hate and rage, with a goal toward dismantling democracy and creating a world ruled by Islamic law," ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman said in the keynote address of the League's 2006 National Commission Meeting in Atlanta.
"This threat is especially dangerous because its roots are in religion, thus there is no way to reason with it, as we, the Jewish people, know too well from our history," he said.
Mr. Foxman alluded to a series of recent statements by Islamist groups and leaders, among them Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hamas leader Khaled Meshal, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah and others that have explicitly called for the "killing of infidels" and the destruction of the state of Israel. Likewise, extremist Muslim leaders and imams have used controversies over remarks by Pope Benedict XVI on Islam and the publication of cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed in Danish newspapers to threaten and intimidate the West by acting out with demonstrations leading to violence and death.
"Too often we find those affected cowering, intimidated into not reacting," said Mr. Foxman. "But respond and react we must."
ADL outlined the following series of steps that must be taken in response to this growing threat:
• Iran must be stopped from gaining nuclear weapons;
• Ahmadinejad must be made a diplomatic pariah;
• Islamist extremist terror groups like Hezbollah and Hamas must be designated as terrorist groups and isolated;
• European countries must come up with more sophisticated approaches to integrating their Muslim populations, while demanding responsibility from Muslim leadership to resist terror, hatred and extremist propaganda.
• The West must not be defensive or condescending in dealing with Muslim extremism;
• Positive initiatives are needed to turn Muslim opinion around;
• In America, we need to continue to struggle to maintain civil liberties, while securing our country against extremists.
"We should be concerned about Muslim sensitivities, but never give in to the hypocrisy of a supercritical Muslim world when episodes like the Danish cartoons or the Pope's speech occur," said Mr. Foxman. "There is no excuse for the violence that took place after these incidents. There is no excuse for over the top criticism when the anti-Semitism, denial of women's rights, anti-Christian attitudes, and general repression of freedoms are far too often characteristic of many Muslim countries today."
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.