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Verbal Inexactitude Supports Muslim Apologists

Reader comment on item: [Moderate] Voices of Islam

Submitted by P. Lubin (United States), Sep 26, 2003 at 13:25

Your use of the phrase "moderate Muslims" is a bit puzzling, since you apply the term to include people who describe themselves firmly as ex-Muslims, such as Ibn Warraq, Taslima Nasreen, and latterly, Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Furthermore, continuing to insist that it is only "Islamists" who are the problem for Infidels contributes to the confusion that still plagues the unwary. If you would carefully define what you mean by the phrase "moderate Muslim" everyone would be on less slippery ground -- unless the ambiguity is deliberate. Those who "share...a hostility to the Wahhabi, Khomeini and other forms of militant Islam" on such matters as dress requirements for women, on the "tone" of one's hostility to non-Muslims, and on, in some cases, the choice of "violence" to further the Jihad, still do not reject the central political tenets of Islam --Jihad (even if conducted through peaceful means, above all through migration to the Bilad al-kufr, Lands of the Infidels), the requirement to work for the final triumph of dar al-Islam, the opposition to any permanent peace with, or acceptance of, any Infidel polity (such as Israel). And if those you hold up as models do reject Jihad, and not just one instrument of Jihad, and do reject the need to spread Islam across the globe, and are willing to contemplate the continued existence of an Infidel state within the Lands of Islam, can these people accurately be described as "moderate Muslims"? Similarly, when you include under "anti-Islamist Muslims" those who "are freethinkers or atheists" do you mean to suggest you can not believe in God and still be a Muslim? And if that is not your argument, but you are simply noting that there are people who claim both to be atheists or freethinkers and yet remain "Muslim," then surely this is a matter for discussion -- are they fooling themselves? Would any other Muslims consider them to be Muslims, or are they apostates in the Ibn Warraq/Ali Sina vein?

Verbal precision is indispensable. I claim that anyone who is an atheist or freethinker, or who rejects Jihad against Infidels, whatever its weapons, is accurately described not as a "moderate Muslim" but as an ex-Muslim. If such people refrain from being as bold as the contributors to the recent collection of testimonies by former Muslims (Leaving Islam, ed. Ibn Warraq), and to continue to describe themselves as "Muslims," that is understandable but does not make that self-description any more accurate. Some may feel a certain filial or civilizational piety (a desire not to publicly abandon their ancestors or what they regard as their ancestral culture),; others may be thrusting young academics or media stars whose careers would suffer if they were no longer that brave and attractive thing, a "moderate Muslim" (useful for trotting out on talk shows), but rather a sullen ex-Muslim, who can safely be ignored as representative only of himself and his discontents. Finally, declaring that one is not a Muslim leads, obviously, increases concerns for one's safety.

Suggesting that one can oppose many of the central tenets of Islam, such as Jihad, and still remain a Muslim in good standing, is not only inaccurate, but also lends unwitting support to the sly apologists for Islam, that army of falsely "moderate Muslims" who, in their practice of taqiyya (religiously-sanctioned deception to protect Islam), pretend that Jihad is not about the subjugation of Infidel lands to Islam (whether through violence, or other means ), but merely a figment of malevolent imaginations attempting to whip up a baseless "clash of civilizations" where none, they maintain, really exists. If one maintains that a person who does not believe, and indeed attacks, the idea of Jihad, nonetheless can be described as a good Muslim, or that someone who rejects other tenets A, B, and C that are central to Islam and still is a good Muslim, that merely helps the apologists. They will swiftly pick up on it, and then suggest that, just as "Daniel Pipes himself writes," tenets A, B, and C are indeed not required and central to the Islamic belief system. One must be very careful with one's words. The main battle in Infidel self-defense is now that of self-education:will a suficient number of Infidels learn about Islam in time, before the army of apologists for Islam, both Muslim and non-Muslim, manages to convince a sufficient number of the credulous that they have nothing to worry about.
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