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Mixing Up of Issues Here - Moderate Islam and Moderate Muslim

Reader comment on item: Will Europe Resist Islamization?
in response to reader comment: The nature of fundalmental religious belief

Submitted by Singha (India), Apr 5, 2008 at 23:24

Steve Wrote <"moderate Muslims were moderate only because they did not fully understand the teachings of Muhammed.">

Dr. Pipes Writes

The key issue here is not just about muslims. It is also about the ideology of islam. The conception of islam presented below can not be so easily rejected.

Is there something called moderate islam? islam is a single monolithic entity based primarily on koran and hadis (biography of mo-hum-mad, who muslims believe to be the ideal human). None of the variants of islam disagree on the centrality of koran and hadis. All sects of islam - shias, wahabis, bohras, ismaelis, barelvis, deobandis, ahmedis and sufis have been as intolerant as the other.

So for many scholars, the problem is they can not accurately define moderate islam and its utility based on historic context. Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Wafa Sultan, Anwar Shaikh, Ali Sina are right - islam is indeed is monolythic and beyond redemption or correction.

Dr. Pipes may like to define as moderate muslim someone like Wafa Sultan, who rejects koran and mohummad as infallible. How would he define moderate islam? Some speculations on definitions follow:

Defining Moderate Muslim: One can define a moderate muslim as someone who rejects the infallibility of koran and mohummad and still calls herself a muslim.

Defining Moderate Islam: For forces representing free values, only effective definition of moderate islam could be as an entity that approves the fallibiltiy of koran and mohummad.

One can not see muslims accepting this formulation of "moderate islam". So the use of "moderate islam" terminology remains antogonistic to the interests of forces that stand for free values.

The above defintion of "moderate muslim" too has its problems. The suggested definition violates the spirit of kalima and positions mo-hum-mad as fallible.

As I have highlighted in a different post, use of the term "moderate islam" in a wooly way ends up hurting forces that stand for freedom and genuine liberal values and empowering forces that stand for islam.


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