Outside editorial: Arab condolences not enough

Posted: Friday, September 14, 2001

The following editorial appeared in today's Detroit Free Press:

Arab and Islamic leaders sent condolences from around the world for the victims of Tuesday's hideous terrorist attack. But even condemnation of those who carried it out means little without action.

So far, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates have pledged to help the United States root out these purveyors of death. Other Arab countries should follow suit.

So must Islamic leaders who are scrambling to make clear that the followers of exiled Saudi extremist Osama bin Laden, the chief suspect of masterminding the carnage, do not represent Islam. To really make their point, they must do more than denounce, they must cough up any terrorists who have warped their religion to justify taking American lives.

Even as the dust was still settling over the debris that was once the World Trade Center in New York City, Arab-American leaders were rightfully demanding that their brothers and sisters across the ocean forcefully repudiate the cowardly acts of terrorism that undermines them in their new homeland. They know it's in their own interest, and that of Arabs seeking liberation abroad, that these murderous renegades be brought to justice.

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was bold in his denunciation, and generously opened his veins to give blood. Better he should use his power and his contacts to help the United States identify and bring forward bin Laden and his followers.

Then let the United States take it from there.

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