This is a stunning and welcome development

An article in the New York Times offers a faint glimmer of hope in the war on terrorism, because it highlights the views of the only people who can truly stop the terror — the Muslims of the world.

The brutal school siege in Russia, with hundreds of children dead and wounded, has touched off an unusual round of self-criticism and introspection in the Muslim and Arab world.

“It is a certain fact that not all Muslims are terrorists, but it is equally certain, and exceptionally painful, that almost all terrorists are Muslims,” Abdel Rahman al-Rashed, the general manager of the widely watched satellite television station Al Arabiya said in one of the most striking of these commentaries.

“The majority of those who manned the suicide bombings against buses, vehicles, schools, houses and buildings, all over the world, were Muslim,” he wrote. “What a pathetic record. What an abominable ‘achievement.’ Does this tell us anything about ourselves, our societies and our culture?”

In Saudi Arabia, newspapers tightly controlled by the government — which finds itself under attack from Islamic fundamentalists — were even more scathing.

Under the headline “Butchers in the Name of Allah,” a columnist in the government daily Okaz, Khaled Hamed al-Suleiman, wrote that “the propagandists of jihad succeeded in the span of a few years in distorting the image of Islam.”

I have a deep personal reason for rejoicing over this turn of events. My 33-year old daughter, Jenny, is Muslim. She and her husband, Waseem, live in Jordan with my 3 grandchildren, Mahmoud, Osama and Tasneem. Jenan, as she is called, is expecting her fourth.

Waseem has taught me much over the years about his faith. A Palestinian by birth, his family was torn from their home by Israelis in 1967. The scars run deep, but he radiates a wonderful peace. My daughter is as happy as anybody could be, so I feel a personal twinge when these savages who claim Islam run amuk like the barbarians they really are.

Repudiation by the faithful is the world’s greatest hope in overcoming this blight, because if Muslim people won’t hide and protect them anymore, where will they go?

Meanwhile, we would do the cause justice if we would stop referring to them as “Islamic Fundamentalists.” They are not. They are imposters and murderers.

The people in that school paid a terrible price just because they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Same with 9/11 and hundreds of other events in this ongoing insanity. Perhaps now they will not have suffered in vain.

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