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This is a Religion of Peace?

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Tuesday, September 3, 2002

This is a Religion of Peace?

Muslim guerrillas in the Philippines, linked to al Qaeda, recently beheaded two men they believed were Christians. Two other men, identified as Muslims, were released. The heads of the two dead men were found in a jungle on a remote Philippine island where they and six others were taken hostage. The two dead men were later identified as Jehovoh's Witnesses.

The Abu Sayyaf group, which has been linked by the United States to the al Qaeda network of Osama bin Laden, is notorious for kidnappings. It claims to be fighting to create an Islamic state in the south of a mainly Roman Catholic country.

Keep this is mind when you hear the refrain that Islam is a religion of peace. And ask yourself where are the credible Muslim clerics denouncing murder of this sort, or any other kind. A few carefully chosen Muslims spout the usual rhetoric of the kind that is used when terrorists kill innocent Israelis and Americans, but this is for public relations and bears no resemblance to the doctrines of these people. I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.