God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen - Jars of Clay - listen now

Monday, October 3, 2005

A Good Moderate Muslim Is Hard To Find

Tom was also quite concerned that I seemed to lump all Muslims into the extremist category. I do not think that all Muslims are extremists or terrorists. I do not however have much faith in the power (or will) of the "moderate" Muslim to stop their hateful brethren. In fact, I'm not sure a "moderate" Muslim exists in the form that a citizen of Western Civilization means when using the word "moderate." Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch brings up some good points in his article from November 2004: A Good Moderate Muslim Is Hard To Find.

Unfortunately, it is not so easy to find Muslim leaders who have genuinely renounced violent jihad and any intention, now or in the future, to impose Sharia on non-Muslim countries. The situation is complicated by many factors, including:

1. Taqiyya and kitman. These are Islamic doctrines of religious deception. They originated in Shi’ite Islamic defenses against Sunni Islam, but have their roots in the Qur’an (3:28 and 16:106). Many radical Muslims today work hard today to deceive unbelievers, in line with Muhammad’s statement, “War is deceit.”

2. Since most Muslims today are not Arabs but all Islamic worship must be in Arabic, and because the Qur’an itself is in difficult classical Arabic, a significant number of nominal Muslims in the U.S. and around the world have no clear idea of what the Qur’an actually says, or what the traditions of their religion in fact do teach.

This group, of course, is the radicals’ largest recruiting ground: again and again — notably in the case of the Al-Qaeda cell in Lackawanna, New York — they have radicalized such “moderates” simply by teaching them what the Qur’an says.


Where is moderate Islam? How can moderate Muslims refute the radical exegesis of the Qur’an and Sunnah? If an exposition of moderate Islam does not address or answer radical exegeses, is it really of any value to quash Islamic extremism? If the answer lies in a simple rejection of Qur’anic literalism, how can non-literalists make that rejection stick, and keep their children from being recruited by jihadists by means of literalism?

So far, all self-proclaimed moderate Muslims have left such questions unanswered.


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