The SJ Merc has a great letter in today's paper (December 9, 2009, 9A):
All Muslim organizations that I am associated with, including the local mosque, have condemned the Mumbai murders, and all Muslims I know are outraged by this incident in which innocent Hindus, Muslims, Christians and Jews were killed. Yet, people still demand something from Muslims. Terrorists are criminals who represent no one but themselves, and if they happen to embrace the same religion as you or I, then so be it. Religion is intended to teach us about God and how to worship and help others, so people of all faiths must join against the ignorance of terrorism and false accusations.
I expressed similar sentiments in an earlier blog post (Anti-Terrorist Sentiment Does Not Require Overt Public Acts):
When an unarmed black man (Amadou Diallo) in New York is shot 19 times by Christian police officers, does the failure of Christians across the United States condemning the NYPD mean they condone senseless killings? Of course not. Such examples can be made ad infinitum, and it should be fairly obvious that an absence of mass protests or vocal opposition has no relevance as an indicator of general support or non-support. The reasons for silence among most "ordinary Pakistanis" are simple. Muslims in Pakistan don't know the killers in India and don't feel any connection to them. To the 99.9% Pakistanis who live their lives peacefully, there is no connection to the killers in India and therefore no reason to say anything publicly about their heinous acts.
Countries act against their own interests when they force ordinary citizens to choose between their religion and supporting law enforcement in the battle against terrorism. Governments need to condemn associating terrorism with any single trait, whether religion or race, so as to ensure the broadest possible cooperation among their citizens.