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Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Do Muslims ever apologize to non-Muslims?

Ma'an Arabic reports that a delegation of rabbis apologized for the arson against a mosque apparently done by Jews from Judea and Samaria a few days ago. Last year there was an apology by well-known rabbis for a similar incident.

Not condemnations - but apologies.

In light of this, as well as the recent kerfuffles over Israel's apologies and statements of regret to Egypt and Turkey, the question must be asked: do Muslims and Arabs ever apologize to the West for their actions?

There are some very rare occasions when one sees an Arab or Muslim apology to non-Muslims.

Abu Abbas, who masterminded the hijacking of the Achille Lauro in 1986, apologized ten years later for the killing of Leon Klinghoffer, saying it was a mistake.

An Egyptian and an Arab American citizen apologized on behalf of their people for 9/11.

And, in a very moving gesture, Jordan's King Hussein made a heartfelt apology for the murders of seven Israeli schoolgirls at the "Island of Peace."

Outside of these isolated cases, I am having a hard time finding any  apologies by Arabs to non-Arabs. It is slightly easier finding Muslim apologies to other Muslims. Mahmoud Abbas apologized to Kuwait for the PLO's support of Saddam Hussein, for example. Turkey once apologized to the family of a man beaten to death in prison. Saudi Arabia apologized to Indonesia for beheading a maid without informing them. All of these are rare enough, but they are to Muslims.

A telling counterexample: in 1972, Japan apologized to Israel for a terror attack perpetrated by the Japanese Red Army at Lod airport - and Arab nations were incensed at that apology.

Finding apologies to the Muslim world by the West is easy. But given the tens of thousands who have been killed and mistreated by Muslims and Arabs, and the ubiquitous demands by Muslim leaders for non-Muslims to apologize for a huge array of perceived grievances, where are all the Muslim apologies?