Why Muslims Don’t Speak Out Against Extremism


A Washington Post article written by a Muslim woman, Asra Q. Nomani, exposes a movement that she says silences all debate on extremist ideology in order to protect the image of Islam. Even reasonable, well-documented critiques, she said are met with “hideous, disproportionate responses.”

The movement is known as the “ghairat brigade.”

If the goal is to protect the image of Islam, it’s having the opposite effect. More and more think most who follow Islam are extremists.

If true, this certainly would explain the silence coming from the Muslim community when extremists go on rampages.

The “ghariat brigade” is rising in power and has its roots in Saudi Arabia when the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Palestinian Authority (PA) met to discuss combating Islamophobia and projecting Islam’s real values.

An honor brigade of politicians, diplomats, writers, academics, bloggers and activists has sprung from it.

They began by attacking Danish cartoons making fun of “sacred symbols of Islam” and continued with attacks on NYC police commissioner RayKelly for his Mosque surveillance and administrators at a Catholic school in Britain for turning away a mother who wouldn’t remove her face veil.

They invented the anti-Islamophobia movement.

Along with the brigade are blasphemy police from blogs such as LoonWatch.com and Ikhras.com and other activists. Most of it takes place online.

If anyone dares talk about extremist ideology, they are labeled “Islamophobes”. Official and unofficial channels work in tandem.

“Honor brigades are wound collectors. They are couch jihadis,” Joe Navarro, a former supervisory special agent in the FBI’s behavioral analysis unit, told the author. “They sit around and collect the wounds and injustices inflicted against them to justify what they are doing. Tragedy unites for the moment, but hatred unites for longer.”

The OIC has denied that they try to silence Muslims discussing the problems of extremists.

The writer disagrees and said the brigade is growing and it has given birth to a culture of victimization.

The OIC’s chief called supporters of the Danish cartoons of Muhammad “extremists of freedom of expression” and equated them with al-Qaeda in a ridiculously exaggerated attack.

The OIC were harsh critics of Charlie Hebdo.

They denounced the killings, but in a 2012 report, they also condemned the magazine’s “Islamophobic satires.”

The brigades will bully and ostracize Muslims who criticize extremists or Islam and there can be no honest debate, the author states.

There are hopeful initiatives in some Mosques but the author feels the president does a disservice by not tying the problem to Islam as el-Sisi recently did in Egypt.

Defend honor, the Asra Nomani states, but act honorably.

The entire article can be read at The Washington Post


Asra Q. Nomani, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, teaches journalism at Georgetown and is a co-director of the Pearl Project. She is the author of Tantrika and Standing Alone. She has written for the New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME and other publications and received a 2007 opinion writing award from the American Academy of Religion. The American Association of University Women named her a 2007 Woman of Distinction. She has served as a TV commentator for the bbc, CNN, et al.