Really, make an effort to pay attention this time (from Sully):
The chief Imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, gives an annual sermon decrying extremism and terror. Money quote:
"Islam is the religion of moderation. There is no room for extremism in Islam," he said. He called on Muslims to "protect non-Muslims in the Kingdom and not to attack them in the country or anywhere. Islam is a religion of peace that abhors attack on innocents." Militants were using misguided interpretations of Islam to justify violence, he added. "Because Muslims have strayed from moderation, we are now suffering from this dangerous phenomenon of branding people infidels and inciting Muslims to rise against their leaders to cause instability," Al-Sudais said. "The reason for this is a delinquent and void interpretation of Islam based on ignorance ... faith does not mean killing Muslims or non-Muslims who live among us, it does not mean shedding blood, terrorizing or sending body parts flying."
Is there some reason this didn't get more play? It strikes me as important.
That's a very good question. The slightest suspicion of extremism on US soil provokes alarming headlines and banners of pending doom. But the chief Imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca decries extremism in no uncertain terms and the anti-Muslim crowd remains oddly silent. Note to anti-Muslim Americans: take credit for this speech if you like, just acknowledge it as widely and loudly as you decry alleged threats.
UPDATE: After a bit of badgering by conservative readers here, I've agreed to point out that the speaker here, Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, has apparently hypocritically endorsed violence in previous speeches. See this National Review story, this MEMRI story, and this Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council story. (irrelevant statement about sources deleted here). But while you're at it, ask yourselves why someone would suggest that a message that potentially influences millions of Muslims worldwide is not worth notice, even if its messenger is allegedly insincere. Really, if nothing else, this would leave those who thought violence was approved of now uncertain. Why isn't that immediately seen as good? Could it be such resevervations to see this glass as half full stem from having far too much invested in spreading anti-Muslim sentiments? That's the only conclusion I can see.