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Islam and Modernity

Reader comment on item: [Finding Moderate Muslims:] Do you believe in modernity?

Submitted by Vijay Dandapani (United States), Nov 26, 2003 at 09:51

Separating moderate and extremist followers of Islam may have some use in uncovering potential terrorists but does nothing to abate the threat from Islamic terrorism. Moderate Muslims in a variety of countries of Muslim minority countries including the US have been murderously silent doing nothing to positively affect the debate while they enjoyed the benefits of plularistic and secular societies many of whom actually guaranteed the pursuit of an Islamic way of life more so than theocratic states like Iran. Lee Kuan Yew, the former Prime Minister of Singapore, in a recent Newsweek interview noted that despite benign and inclusive policies in his country and Thailand, both nations have been hit by Islamic terrorists.

Moderate followers of Islam have always been in the minority and it is a decreasing ratio given the exponential growth in Madrassas in Pakistan, Indonesia and Bangladesh. Nurturing moderates in the US while they flourish is like trying to get somewhere by running on a treadmill. The real answer lies, as anyone with more than a passing interest in the existential threat of militant Islam knows, in confronting the venom being spawned with money from Saudi Arabia and being nurtured in the Madrassas of Pakistan.

And while we are developing useful questions to weed out the phony from the real how about a couple more:

--Do you condemn "honor" killings practiced in many Muslim countries where a father/brother/relative kills a woman for real and many times imagined infidelity?
--Do you condemn the practice of female genital mutiliation carried out often in tandem with child marriages?

Incredibly such barbaric customs persist even in so called moderate countries such as Jordan and the UAE.
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