Islam is a religion of peace. Therefore, Muslims cannot do anything that is not peaceful. Therefore, Muslims cannot be responsible for terror attacks. QED.
Aftenposten seems quite shocked by these statements, but it's something that many Muslims have been saying for years.
More of Norway's imams have expressed their disbelief that the terrorist attacks of Sep. 11 2001 on the USA can have been carried out by Muslims.
"I don't believe that Muslims have the resources or qualities needed to carry out the attacks of September 11, 2001," said Imam Hafiz Mehboob-ur-Rehman of the Islamic Cultural Center. Other Norwegian imams share his view, which first came to attention in a web chat on Aftenposten.no with imam Zulqarnain Sakandar on Monday.
"There are many theories about Sep. 11, but no hard evidence. In addition, it is against the teaching of Islam to kill civilians like this," said imam Mehboob-ur-Rehman. [How should civilians be killed according to Islam?]
Mehboob-ur-Rehman emphasized that the attacks could not be defended no matter who was responsible, but he had no reason to believe they were Muslims.
"The attacks have had no positive effects for Muslim. Muslims and Islam have suffered because of what has happened," Mehboob-ur-Rehman said.
Rehman did not go as far as Imam Zulqarnain Sakandar and subscribe to conspiracy theories that the USA itself was behind the attacks, saying there was no hard evidence for this either. But Mehboob-ur-Rehman did agree with imam Zulqarnain Sakandar's doubts about the existence of al-Qaeda.
"Neither I nor any of my acquaintances had heard of al-Qaeda before Sep. 11. I don't know if it exists. Al-Qaeda has primarily existed in the media. I have the impression that everyone mentions al-Qaeda because the USA and President George W. Bush mentions it," Mehboob-ur-Rehman said.
Vice-imam at the Islamic Cultural Center, Mian Tayyib, agrees.
"I feel that the truth has been kept hidden. The way the towers fell indicates that it was not caused by the planes. The close-ups I have seen on TV show smoke coming from the towers before they were hit by the planes," Tayyib said. [Which close-ups? who was taking pictures of the towers before the planes hit?]
Aftenposten's evening edition spoke with three Somalians outside the mosque afterwards, and found this opinion again, with the trio believing Sep. 11 was planned by either the USA or Israel to turn Muslims and Christians against each other, or to justify an invasion of Iraq.
Imam Syed Ikram Shah at the World Islamic Mission also ruled out the possibility of Muslims being behind Sep. 11 on the logic that Islam does not allow the murder of innocents.
Waiting for proof
"Even if they (the hijackers) had Muslim names, those people lived in the West. It is not proof they were Muslims," Ikram Shah said. [I cannot believe this guy is serious. The terrorists of 9/11 did not just have "Muslim names". They killed for Islam. The Muslims around the world saw it exactly for what it was meant - an attack of Islam on the West, and celebrated accordingly.]
Imam Nehmat Ali Shah of Central Jamaat-e Ahl-E Sunnat would make no decision before an independent tribunal passed judgment.
"Five years have passed since this happened, but as far as I know, no independent court has convicted anyone for it. So I cannot say to day that it was Muslims or anyone else behind it," Shah said.
"These days all acts of terror in the world are linked to al-Qaeda. I have never heard of al-Qaeda having an office or a representative anywhere. The question is how some shepherds in a poor region can control what happens in the world from a cave," Shah said.
Source: Aftenposten (English)
See also: Norway: Don't panic!