From the JW Archives:
September 24, 2006
"We should also encourage the moderate leaders in the Muslim world -- and they're the majority -- to distance themselves from this extremism..." -- from Jose Manuel Barroso's comment
Four Questions and No Answer:
1. Define "moderate leaders."
2. Tell us how you know they are in "the majority."
3. Tell us why the attacks on the Pope can be described, without more, as "extremism."
4. Tell us why you think that "the moderate leaders in the Muslim world -- and they're the majority" -- have not once been capable of denouncing those who riot and agitate and utter death threats, not only now against the Pope, but in other incidents, such as those worldwide Muslim protests, presumably from those Muslims not in "the majority," over Danes daring to exercise in Denmark their right of free speech.
The very phrase "moderate Muslim" shows us what we all realize about Islam, even if we choose not to express it to others or even to recognize it ourselves. For a "moderate Muslim" is someone who is not too much of a believer, who may be largely unobservant, who may choose to ignore a large part of what the Qur'an, Hadith, and the example of Muhammad in the Sira all teach. In other words, a "moderate Muslim" is one who takes his Islam but only "in moderation." Ideally, from the viewpoint of Infidels, is that "moderate Muslim" who takes such a low dose of the belief-system that he becomes what one may call the "Muslim-for-identification-purposes-only" Muslim.
What does this tell us? It tells us that if the "moderate Muslim" is the good kind, the kind we wish to encourage, the kind we can work with, the kind we can trust to do battle against "immoderate" Muslims, then those who loudly claim to the contrary are in fact recognizing that there is something terribly wrong with Islam itself. We can only have hope, if we have any hope at all, in those who do not take the teachings of Islam too seriously, too much to heart. It is those who fully accept the teachings of Islam, and are not merely going through the motions out of filial piety or some vague sense of tradition, who are the greatest danger.
But the notion of "moderate" Muslims is too easily invoked and relied upon. In the archives at Jihad Watch (see the articles page) one can find my article "Ten Things to Think About When Thinking About Moderate Muslims." And among the points made in that piece is that those who fail to describe what Islam teaches, in their own attempts to deflect understanding and knowledge of Islam through the exercise of Taqiyya-and-Tu-Quoque, are not "moderates" in any helpful sense, for they are simply continuing to mislead unwary Infidels. And what is worse, they are more effective at it, smoother at it, than the wild-eyed attendees of the Finsbury Mosque. Omar Bakri Mohammed, when he was the talk of London, was not nearly the threat that the smooth Tariq Ramadan continues to be to Infidel understanding of Islam.
A true "moderate" must be defined as a Muslim who does not mislead in any way about Islam. He may be uncomfortable about telling the full truth, but he should not lie about what Qur'an, Hadith, and Sira teach, and about how those teachings are accepted by a great many, the overwhelming majority, of Muslims. He must not deny the reality of the example of Muhammad, and what that example of uswa hasana, the Model for All Time, means for Muslims -- and more importantly, for non-Muslims. He must not pretend that the many Jihad verses in the Qur'an do not exist, or that they can be interpreted away, or that the doctrine of abrogation is not accepted. He must not confuse Infidels by quoting Hadith that may be pleasing, but are also deemed inauthentic, and he must not ignore those Hadith deemed authentic. He must not selectively quote, with careful ellipses, certain verses in the Qur'an, or mislead as to the meaning of verses which, on first reading, might seem unexceptional.
Those true moderates are only those who admit that there is something naturally menacing about Islam. In order for Muslims to be accepted, or even tolerated, in the Lands of the Infidels, they should have to admit that there is something wrong both in the teachings of Islam, and in the treatment, in time and space, of non-Muslims by Muslims who conquered their lands, and proceeded to islamize, and in many cases as well to arabize, those lands -- and to force those who did not convert to endure the permanent status of degradation, humiliation, and physical insecurity that all dhimmis, from Spain to East Asia, found was their common and immutable lot.
How many Muslims will qualify as "moderates" according to the minimal criteria offered above?