"Their backpedaling is so furious you can smell the skid marks."


Mona Eltahawy, the Egyptian-born liberal journalist who writes for Asharq al-Awsat, has been a steadfast critic of George Bush, the Iraq war, and Israel. On Sunday, however, she wrote an impassioned essay in The Washington Post condemning not only terrorist bombers, but the tepid reactions of many Muslim leaders in the wake of the July 7 London attacks.

Eltahawy blasted "those dog-eared statements that our clerics and religious leaders read out telling us that Islam means peace—it actually means submission—and asking us to please forget everything they had ever said before July 6, because as of July 7 they truly believe violence is bad. Their backpedaling is so furious you can smell the skid marks."

Citing Mohammed Musawi, the head of the World Islamic League in London, Eltahawy wrote that, "In a classic example of laying blame everywhere but at our own door, Musawi actually criticized the Western media (for supposedly confusing frustrated young Muslims) rather than those scholars who had blessed suicide bombings as long as they targeted Israelis." Such bombings "are killing Muslims and non-Muslims alike, and yet our imams and scholars cannot condemn them."

"I'm done with the 'George Bush made me do it' excuse," concluded Eltahawy. "We must accept responsibility for this mess if we are ever to find a way out."