Its time Muslims really spoke out

With the news of the South Korean that was beheaded by terrorists in Iraq, following the other beheadings of Paul Johnson in Saudi Arabia and Nick Berg in Iraq, a nasty picture is beginning to be painted of the face of Muslims and the religion of peace they preach.

First, before the many peace-loving Muslims out there start firing off hate-mail to condemn my view and point to the many instances of the virtues of Islam, let me say this: Yes, Islam by definition preaches peace and I am sure that the majority of Muslims are peaceful and law-abiding people, etc.

But everyone cannot deny that these despicable acts done by these terrorists are done in the name of Islam. Just read transcripts of what these murderers say, and see for yourself.

'But these are just the views of a small perverted minority', some will protest.

'It does not represent the true face of the faith.'

'They are hijacking the religion for their own dastardly deeds.'

'Just because they say such things, doesn't mean it's true.'

And so on and so forth. We are now all familiar with the arguments.

However many miss the point, it's precisely because these terrorists use the name of Islam that it is why most Muslims should be worried. Let me give an example. Suppose a group of radical Malaysians went on international TV after committing a heinous crime and proclaimed their deed in the name of Malaysia, saying that this is what Malaysia stood for.

Can you imagine the outcry among Malaysians? The perpetrators would be condemned in each corner of our country and rightly so.

Unfortunately, I seem to get the sense that when terrorists commit atrocities in the name of Islam, most Muslims will give the usual disapproving statements and then add the usual disclaimers about how it is a cycle of violence, Abu Ghraib, Middle East peace process, etc., etc.

It doesn't seem to bother them that much these brutal acts of the terrorists, they will just shrug it of. Par for the course, so to speak.

It is time Muslims really took a hard look at themselves. If there is anyone to blame for the fact that more and more people are taking a harsher view of Islam, it is the people who stay quiet and let others project their radical views of a religion that they all share.