May 3rd, 2011 by Hafiz Noor Shams
I watched a documentary once. It was about Muslims in America. There was a young female Muslim in New York with typical American lifestyle. She was not the conservative type and I am on confident of that. She did wear a scarf though and that probably tells you that she identified herself with Islam.
In one segment, she said she did not feel the need to come out in the open to condemn terrorist acts done by some Muslims in the name of Islam. She said she was not responsible for it and she would not apologize for others. They happened to share the same religion as her.
I am in complete agreement with her. I am not because I am trying to defend the religion and Muslims at large. I have grown to be so much a skeptic in the past few years that I am more likely to criticize religion, any religion for that matter, than to defend it.
I am in complete agreement with her because there is a mark of individualism in that statement.
More importantly, the individualism is very much libertarian. We are responsible for our own actions and no one else. Each one of us is responsible for our own actions.
It is for this reason that I do not buy the narrative that moderate Muslims must come out to condemn terrorism or any wrongful act done by fellow Muslims. I disagree with what Ioannis Gatsiounis wrote at The Malaysian Insider today, where he wrote that the Muslim community needs to express “collective expressions of joy and relief of bin Laden’s death” to help combat the suspicion that Muslims are quietly sympathizing Osama Bin Laden and his merry men in Al-Qaeda.
And then, guilt by association is a fallacy, after all.
No doubt, there are Muslims who sympathize with Bin Laden. That however does not negate the individualist argument. Those Muslims are responsible for their own positions. Other Muslims theirs, as with other individuals regardless of beliefs out there in this world.
 — Your initial reaction to news of Osama bin Laden’s death is telling. If you were disappointed, you no doubt harbour terrorist sympathies.
Of course, many non-Muslims have come to suspect many Muslims have been doing just that at least since 9/11. That impression may be inaccurate. But with repeated silence among moderate Muslims in the face of countless acts of terror committed in the name of Islam since 9/11, it’s easy to see why the suspicion arises [Hope for Islam’s image with bin Laden’s death. Ioannis Gatsiounis. The Malaysian Insider. May 3 2011]