What exactly is a moderate Muslim?
Bridgett Gabriel: “A moderate Muslim is a non-practicing Muslim.
A non-practicing or non-devout Muslim is a man who doesn’t pray 5 times a day, does drink alcohol, doesn’t attend a mosque regularly, believes he is equal to all other people and God’s creation. Does not believe that Apostates should be killed. He believes that people have the freedom to chose what religion they want to belong to. He does not believe that Jihad should be declared on non Muslims until they convert or pay the Jizya. He believes that gays should not be killed according to Sharia Law even if he disagrees with their lifestyle. He believes that his wife is his equal and is entitled to the same respect and education as any other man; that she is not his property according to the Koran; that she should not be covered from head to toe or even wear a hijab; that he does not have the right to beat her just because he is a man and she is a woman, that Jews are his equals in the eyes of God.Â
Most moderate Muslims do not know the real teaching of the Koran and many of them have never read it. In debates between the moderates and the radicals about the Koran, the radical always win the arguments because Islamic law is on their side. They can quote you chapter and verse from the Koran to support their arguments while the moderates just sit speechless not knowing how to respond.”Â
“‘Islamic terrorism’ is a myth”
On this day of remembrance, a Muslim restates the majority view:
“Opinion: Terrorists hijacked the Muslim faith,” by Saqib A. Zuberi for theÂ San Jose Mercury News, September 10 (thanks to Doug):
As the nation remembers the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, the heart and soul of the Muslim remembers fellow Americans who died tragically in the terrorist attacks that Tuesday morning. Not only did the terrorists wage war on America, but they also hijacked the religion of Islam.
Zuberi, like virtually all others, doesn’t spell out exactly how the terrorists hijacked Islam. Presumably we are to believe that their cries of “Allahu akbar” and the jihadists’ justifications of their actions based on Islamic theology and law are false representations of Islamic teaching, and that Islam actually does not condone — but does not condone what? For Zuberi, as for virtually all others, the answer is apparently that Islam does not condone “terrorism.”
Very well. But even if one accepts that nothing like terrorism is meant by the Qur’an’s injunction to Muslims to “strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of Allah” (8:60), the difficulty with this is that Islamic jihadists themselves don’t speak about terrorism. They speak of their activities in the context of Islamic jihad. But “jihad” is a word that does not appear in this article. Does Zuberi disapprove of jihad against unbelievers? Of jihad violence? Of Islamic supremacism? If he does, he doesn’t say so here.
Last week, former presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani stated: “For four days in Denver, the Democrats were afraid to use the term ‘Islamic terrorism.’ I imagine they believe it is politically incorrect to say it. I think they believe they will insult someone. Please tell me who they are insulting if they say, ‘Islamic terrorism.’ They are insulting terrorists!”These statements refute the post-Sept. 11 efforts of all hard-working, loyal Muslim-Americans who have denounced terrorism from all groups and in all forms. The words actually encourage those terrorists who hijacked the Islamic faith.
This is not in the least true on any level. Even if the terrorists had hijacked the Islamic faith, they did what they did in the name of Islam and because of Islam as they understood it. Islam was how they explained their actions; Islam was what motivated their actions. Thus it is perfectly legitimate to speak of “Islamic terrorism” even if one believes that Islam actually teaches that Muslims and non-Muslims should live together as equals on an indefinite basis. It no more “refutes” anti-terror Muslims than the phrase “Italian fascism” “refutes” anti-fascist Italians. As I have pointed out many, many times, to speak of Islamic terrorism is not to say that all terrorists are Muslims any more than to speak of “fair-minded media figures” is to say that all media figures are fair-minded.
But Zuberi charges on in the same vein:
The rhetoric used against terrorism must be directed toward real terrorists and not toward the Islamic faith that their actions contradict. Associating the word “Islamic” with “terrorism” lumps in all Muslims. Our country’s leadership should be wiser. It should send a clear message that American Muslims aspire for the same freedoms and security for their families and homes as do all other Americans.
Our country’s leadershipÂ isÂ wiser — wiser, that is, by Zuberi’s lights. Hasn’t he heard of the politically correct directives forbidding officials from speaking about Islam in connection with terrorism?
In any case, in reality it is not up to “our country’s leadership” to “send a clear message that American Muslims aspire for the same freedoms and security for their families and homes as do all other Americans.” It is up to Muslims in America to do that. Have they done so? In fact, no. What we get are disingenuous and misleading statements like this present article. Why won’t Muslim spokesmen ever say that yes, they reject jihad violence and Islamic supremacism, and don’t believe Sharia should ever be imposed in the West? Could it be because…they don’t reject those things? Their continued lack of specificity in their denunciations of terrorism (as well as their utter failure to back up their words with deeds) only feeds such suspicions.
The remembrance of Sept. 11 affects all faiths. It reminds Muslims of the great need for interfaith dialogue with their neighbors to communicate Muslim abhorrence toward all forms of terrorism and oppression.
Some Muslims believe that all non-Sharia forms of government are oppressive by nature. Does Zuberi? He doesn’t say.
All Americans hold a strong desire to root out the evils of extremism, terrorism, ignorance and intolerance from within their communities, regardless of faith. Sept. 11 and Ramadan fall at the same time this year, hence this is a special chance for Muslims to help achieve this goal.As a means for healing the country’s loss and erasing the misconceptions that still exist in the post 9/11-era, Bay Area mosques have adopted an annual tradition of opening their doors for an entire weekend so community members and public officials of all faiths can gather to break bread and fast with their Muslim neighbors.
This will take place this weekend as part of our celebration of Ramadan, the ninth holy month in the Islamic calendar, when the Koran, the sacred scriptures for Muslims (after the revelations to Abraham, Moses and Jesus) was revealed to Muhammad from 610-632 A.D. The theme of the open houses is “A Month of Purification,” when Muslims focus on growing closer to God, and increasing charitable acts and self-discipline.
Zuberi makes no mention, of course, of the fact that Islam considers Abraham, Moses and Jesus to have been Muslim prophets whose Islamic message was corrupted by their followers to create what we know of as Judaism and Christianity. I’ve discussed this at length, along with its implications for contemporary jihad terrorism and Islamic supremacism, inÂ Jihad Watch’s exclusive Blogging the Qur’an series.
The Prophet Muhammad regarded Ramadan as the “month of sharing with others.” So it seems appropriate to include this open-house weekend as an opportunity to focus on multi-faith understanding and cooperation, as well as to educate neighbors and officials of the Muslims’ peacefulness and contributions within the community. Muslim communities in this country denounce all forms of terrorism and oppression.”Islamic terrorism” is a myth. Perpetuating the term is an affront to the principle of religious freedom upon which the United States was founded.
Then comes the CAIR connection:
to Attend an open houseThe 2008 Bay Area Ramadan-Mosque Open House is Saturday and Sunday, sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and eight mosques in Santa Clara, San Jose, Fremont, Oakland, San Martin and San Francisco….
Islamic terrorism is a myth? NOT!
it is islamists following the teachings of islam and it’s profitt, hate, human rights abuse, murder and yes even child molestation are all part of the pure unadultrated islam of mohammed. The truth is the so called moderate muslim is a backslidden follower, there is no moderate and even the ones who claim to be so, cheer, clap and celebrate the real islamists who kill as many innocents as they can to further their taking over the world and making islam supreme. If only the silent majority would admit it, we could begin the battle that is going to come and get it over with.Â
The Great Surrender: How Britain has given in to the religious fanatics intent on destroying our way of life
ByÂ A N WILSON
In his major new book, the historian A N Wilson examines howÂ BritainÂ has changed almost beyond recognition during the reign of the present Queen. Mass immigration and political correctness have turnedÂ BritainÂ into a haven for Islamic fanatics. In this fourth extract, he says society is paying a terrible price for tolerating such extremists…
The growth of Islamism was first noted by the West with a mixture of indifference and incredulity. Had not the Islamic world always thrown up occasional figures such as the Mad Mahdi inÂ Sudan, whose followers murdered General Gordon ofÂ KhartoumÂ in 1885?
Then they always faded away and the Muslim world resumed its peaceful, sleepy existence.
That was the romantic idea. But ever since the West linked itself to dependence upon oil, and ever since large numbers of poor Muslims from the formerÂ PakistanÂ and elsewhere migrated here, it had not been a very realistic one. How unrealistic became clear on September 11, 2001, when Islamist suicide-murderers crashed hijacked planes into theÂ TwinÂ Towers.Â
Spreading hate: Muslims protesting in London
The world was suddenly conscious of a fanatical terrorist Islamist organisation, Al Qaeda, and Osama Bin Laden, its evil genius. This Saudi Arabian playboy had recast himself in the model of a prophet, and his long faceÂ Â –Â Â Jesus painted by El GrecoÂ Â –Â was soon to become one of the most famous of the age.
The violence of Islamic fundamentalists had been visible as far back as the early Seventies when Auberon Waugh wrote an article in The Times that jestingly referred to the baggy trousers worn by Turkish men in the days of the Caliphate and how British soldiers used to call them ‘Allah catchers’.
In Rawalpindi an angry mob, many of whom, it is safe to guess, were not readers of The Times, stormed the British Council building and burned the library to the ground.
Then there was theÂ fatwaÂ against Salman Rushdie in 1989, calls for the head (literally) of a Danish cartoonist who dared to depict the Prophet Mohammed in a drawing and, more recently, the threat of 40 lashes for a 54-year-old teacher from Liverpool after one of her pupils in the Sudan innocently named the class teddy bear ‘Mohammed’.
Western liberals have tended to respond in one of two ways. One is to suppose that there was some genuine grievance being suffered by the Islamists. Remove this and the mobs would fade away.
Fatwa: Sir Salman Rushdie
This school of thought usually had no difficulty in identifying the underlying ’causes’ asÂ U.S.Â foreign policy and the existence of the state ofÂ Israel.
Other liberals take the view that it is pointless to apply the principles of 17th-century philosopher John Locke and sweet reason to people who stir up mobs and murder on such manifestly trumped-up charges.
They point instead to the deplorable ideas being peddled by the IslamistsÂ Â –Â hatred of homosexuals, subjugation of women, violent anti-Judaism.
And they ask by what right the Islamists attempt to impose their perverted values upon the West while milking Western democracies for benefits of all kinds.
It is one thing to suppose the West represents the Great Satan, another to choose to reside within the Great Satan’s jurisdiction, deriving free schooling and higher education, free or subsidised housing and employment while denouncing the countries that supply these benefits.
What is striking is that much of the loudest and most violent Islamism comes not from those who live under sharia law and watch their shoplifting neighbours’ hands being cut off and blasphemous schoolmarms being given the lash, but rather those who deliberately opted to live in the fag-end of Christian democracies.
BritainÂ has become the epicentre for much of the actual plotting of terrorism and violence by these people, with the result that travellers stand in long lines in airports as such hitherto harmless items of luggage as toothpaste are x-rayed or confiscated.
This in itself is a victory for the terror merchants. During World War II, citizens of this country continued to wait at bus stops, get on trains and crawl over the rubble produced by the aerial bombers of the Luftwaffe, with the admirable belief that one way of defeating the enemy was to maintain business as usual.
Not any more. International air travel is now so widespread that no country can opt for not being intimidated by the bullies. The gung-ho bravery of the British during the Blitz is not allowed in the 21st century.
If airports inÂ LondonÂ refused to search passengers, no other airport in the world would receive planes fromÂ Britain. The Islamist blackmailers have won that particular round of the game, getting the satisfaction of seeing thousands of travellers trudging through security gates at a snail’s pace.
Because of political correctness, it is not allowable to wave through the majority of Caucasians, who clearly have no links with Islamic terrorism. Old ladies fromÂ Miami, well-scrubbed schoolgirls fromÂ Dusseldorf, Norwegian architects and retired civil servants fromÂ Hemel HempsteadÂ are all treated as if their nail-scissors and indigestion mixture are prime weapons in Al Qaeda’s arsenal.
Standing in those queues and asking themselves the old World War II question ‘Is your journey really necessary?’, travellers might find it hard to sympathise with the cause of Islamic fundamentalism. They might also wonder why the Islamists are behaving in this odious manner, and what they hope to gain by it.
Carnage: Tavistock Square, central London, after a bomb ripped through a double decker bus on July 7, 2005
When Basque separatists blew innocent fellow mortals to pieces inÂ Madrid, it was always clear what they wanted. There was a similar logic to IRA bombs. But who is going to restore the Caliphate for the Islamic terrorists?
Certainly not the Turks, who abolished it in 1924. They are anxious to join the European Union and escape from the religious maniacs. Nor the Saudis, whose royal family enjoy the benefits of unbounded wealth, based on the craven dependency of the Western powers upon oil.
Still standing in the airport, trying to avoid illiberal suspicions about the more obviously Islamic fellow customers, a traveller might look around and see at least one plausible explanation for the horrific phenomenon of the Islamist threatÂ Â –Â Â the airport itself and the modern age of mobility.
Our time has been an era of migrations, andÂ Britain, with its colonial past, has received mass inflows from Islamic nations. But all the official concerns have been about whether we, the host country, were being racist in our attitudes to the newcomers.
What went unnoticed was how many of those arriving, particularly from ruralÂ Pakistan, were refusing to integrate. They remained umbilically linked to a homeland which itself was caught up in religious extremism. We had imported thousands of potential Muslim Guy Fawkeses.
Intelligence reports suggest that some 16,000 British Muslims are engaged in, or support (an important difference), terrorist activity. Three thousand are believed to have passed through Al Qaeda training camps, and several hundred may have been primed to attack targets inÂ BritainÂ itself.
Compared with the Roman Catholic threats to national security in the 17th century, the Islamic ones in the 21st seem slight.
Though modern explosives can kill more people than those amassed by Guy Fawkes and friends, there is no figure in the Islamic world comparable to the Pope or the King of Spain, who might have invadedÂ EnglandÂ had the religious terrorists at the start of James I’s reign been successful.
Dubious: ‘Shoe bomber’ Richard Reid
But compared with another threat, the Irish terrorism of the 20th century, the Islamic attacks are more vicious, in so far as they have occurred without warning. And it would be rash to suppose they will not be repeated.
Opinion polls suggest that more than 100,000 of our citizens consider the July 7 suicide bombings inÂ LondonÂ in 2005 to have been justified.
MI5’s fear is that more and more are moving from passive sympathy to active terrorism, through being indoctrinated by friends and families, in organised training events here and overseas, by TV images and through internet chat-rooms and websites.
Pessimists can find little hope in a situation where so many British citizens approve of the idea of mass slaughter. They might ask too why it took the authorities so long to arrest Abu Hamza, who preached murderous hatred at Finsbury Park Mosque inÂ North London.
There, he received such dubious characters as Richard Reid, the so-called ‘shoe bomber’, and Zacarias Moussaoui, one of the 9/11 plotters.
Even after he was finally stripped of citizenship and banned from preaching in the mosque, Hamza was allowed to sit in a chair on the pavement while his adoring congregation queued to embrace him.
He was still making inflammatory speeches denouncing Western politicians as corrupt homosexuals, and Jews as criminals propping up the ‘brigand’ state ofÂ Israel.
Three minutes spent by a rabbi making comparable comments about, say,Â Pakistanwould naturally have resulted in his arrest, and probably a riot of Muslims.
Hamza’s murderous message of hate touched and inflamed many young fanatics, as did Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal, who is said to have influenced Germaine Lindsay, one of the 7/7 bombers.
There may just be a ray of hope in the fact that most perpetrators of the atrocities, as opposed to their instigators, are young.
What if Lindsay had grown out of al-Faisal’s influence? What if he had fallen in love, developed a sense of irony, had a family, made friends of another religion, or no religion at all, and found that they made him laugh?
Murderous: Race-hate cleric Abu Hamza
Then, surely, the threat of the whole hellish pack of them would evaporate.
Ed Husain gives us some reason to be optimistic. He grew up in a Bangladeshi family in the East End of London. His father had been born in what was stillBritish IndiaÂ and regretted the partition of the subcontinent after British withdrawal.
Theirs was a poor but highly intelligent family and the Islam they practised was spiritual, centred upon the purely religious mosque inÂ Brick Lane. There, Husain became something of an infant Samuel, travelling the country and learning to recite from the Koran in Arabic. All this was wholly spiritual and had nothing to do with political extremists.
But then he rebelled against his parents and began to mix with ‘radicalised’ Islamists at another mosque. His father was appalled, wondering why, if a young man was interested in politics, he didn’t join the Labour Party. Significantly, Husain remembers that after he had become radicalised, although he spouted a lot of theological nonsense, inwardly he was no longer religious.
He went through his student years ‘radicalising’ whatever campus he happened to be attending. But then he returned to sanity. He had seen through ‘Islamism’ for the fraudulent and dangerous nonsense that his father had always told him it was.
One thing that saved him was high intelligence. You can get sucked into this sort of thing if you are clever; but with intelligence you will eventually argue your way out of it.
Another was the love of a good womanÂ Â –Â Â he met a beautiful Muslim woman at one of his colleges and they married. The two of them then travelled in theÂ Middle East.
There, they saw the huge differences in Islamic practiceÂ Â –Â Â between the tolerant, spiritual Islam found at, say, the tomb of St John The Baptist in Syria, where Christian nuns pray alongside Muslims, and the closed world of Saudi Arabia.
The notion of a new Caliphate shattered when contemplating the realities of actual Muslims in Islamic countries. InÂ Syria, he realised too that many devout Muslims, men and women, do not dress in the clothes deemed essentially Islamic by the boy activists back in theÂ East End.
Husain retained tender memories of hisÂ LondonÂ primary school, where his inspirational white teachers instilled a sense of common belonging.
‘Later in life, when I doubted my affinity withÂ Britain, those memories came rushing back,’ he records in his extraordinary book, The Islamist.
By disobeying his parents and distancing himself from multiculturalism, Husain was going through something many of us would find familiarÂ Â –Â Â teenage rebellion.
Extreme Islamism is like a spoilt psychopathic child, but the world is afraid of psychopathic children, especially when they reveal themselves to be capable of blowing up buses and trains. Hence the ludicrous spectacle of kowtowing to Islamist bullies.
Too many people in authority have taken to anticipating the bullies. A local council banned the use of a calendar that depicted a pig in case of offence to Muslims.
Marlowe’s play Tamburlaine The Great was censored at the Barbican for fear of upsetting Muslims (though the far more offensive The Jew Of Malta by the same Elizabethan playwright saw revivals without any censorship). The British public, in overwhelming proportions, know exactly what is required.
Hope: London-born Ed Husain, who was trained for Jihad by the same people as Omar Khyam, leader of the Bluewater bombers, and his book The IslamistÂ
A letter in a national newspaper put it succinctly: ‘If Muslims are so upset with the ways of the West and the UK, if they dislike our laws so much, why don’t they go and live in a Muslim country and be ruled under sharia law?’
The correspondent went on: ‘This is not a racist comment. I believe we should all tolerate each other, as the English people have done for more than 2,000 years.
‘We have allowed Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Italians, Greeks, French etc to come and live. All have integrated and accepted the British way of life, without giving up their language or religion. Indeed I am from one of these minorities.
‘Yet come the followers of Allah and all hell breaks loose. They want special treatment, their own laws and the honour to blow themselves and innocent people up.’
Listening to the last recorded message of Mohammad Sidique Khan, one of the 7/7 bombers, what is extraordinary and chilling is that his wordsÂ Â –Â Â ‘I am a soldier . . . I am avenging my Muslim brothers and sisters’Â Â –Â Â were spoken in a broadÂ YorkshireÂ accent.
This was theÂ countyÂ ofÂ Alan Bennett, David Hockney, John Braine, J. B. Priestley!
Mohammad Sidique Khan grew up in Dewsbury, a little town where 18 years earlier the parents of 26 indigenousÂ YorkshireÂ children were demonised by the chattering classes for withdrawing their children from the local primary school because it had become largely Muslim.
Here is encapsulated the enormous fissure between the kind of people who bomb a train and the kind who wantÂ England, and Christianity, to continue as they were before mass immigration began.
It has to be said that, of all the strange social phenomena inÂ BritainÂ since World War II, the existence of Muslim terrorists is the most revealing and the most unsettling.
It is the one that most poignantly highlights just how muchÂ BritainÂ has changed and how Britons of today, instead of being one nation, are living in parallel universes.
â€¢ Abridged extract from Our Times: The Age Of Elizabeth II by A.N. Wilson, published byHutchinsonÂ on September 18 at Â£25. Â© A. N. Wilson 2008. To order a copy at Â£22.50 (p&p free), please call 0845 155 0720.