Editor’s note: Below is a video version of this commentary:
Edmund Burke, an 18th-century political philosopher, said: "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing." To paraphrase Mr. Burke, the failure of good people to vigorously oppose evil ultimately allows evil to triumph.
It is dangerous to make blanket assertions, and this is not intended as such; however, though all Muslims are not terrorists, it is equally true that all Middle Eastern terrorists have been Muslim – which begs the question: How do you tell them apart?
Growing up in the American South, I quickly learned of an organization called the Ku Klux Klan. It soon became apparent that not all white people were members of the Klan. It was, however, equally apparent that all members of the KKK were white. For blacks, the dilemma was, as is modern-day Israel's, absent the robe and hood, how do you tell them apart?
You could tell the good whites from the Klansmen by what they said and moreso by their actions, what they did in public.
I am puzzled.
Moderate Muslims have proclaimed, with apparent sadness, and with real or feigned anger, that extremists have hijacked the real Islam – the "religion of peace." If the moderate Muslims – "the good people" – truly believe their "religion of peace" has been hijacked by extremist elements that do not represent the teachings of the prophet and of Islam, why do they not step forward and speak up?
Why don't they stop shielding terrorists and allowing payments to the families of homicide bombers? Why don't they simply shut off the funding, punish the perpetrators and reveal their identities?
Why don't they?!
If only 15-20 percent of Muslims are radical extremists, then why won't the other 80-85 percent stand up and publicly condemn these rogue hijackers and the nations or individuals that sponsor or commit acts of terrorism?
If the moderate Muslims – "the good people" – will officially and publicly recognize Israel's right to exist, and then stand arm in arm with Israel and the West, that will be proof positive that Islam is, in word and deed, a true "religion of peace."
They will have heeded Burke's warning. But, if the moderate Muslims – the "good people" – continue to do nothing, then evil will triumph, indeed.