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

Submitted by Joseph Breeden (United States), Dec 18, 2003 at 22:40

What moderate Muslims are we speaking of? Are we talking about leaders? Or are we talking about all Muslims? If we are talking about Muslims, then it's clear that hate is not cornered by the Islam community alone. Hate is as universal as love for humans, it seems.
It never ceases to amaze me every time I hear suggestions that are posed here--not only by you but by your readers:
"The best way to discern moderation is by delving into the record, public and private, Internet and print, domestic and foreign, of an individual or institution. Such research is most productive with intellectuals, activists, and imams, all of whom have a paper trail. With others, who lack a public record, it is necessary to ask questions. "
Are you willing to go under the "eye" yourself? Are you willing to be monitored because of your religion? Protestants, Catholics, and Jews have been persecuted throughout history. Yet, we always seem to resort to reciprocal persecution as a solution--and always first.

Do you honestly endorse the detainment and surveillance of all Muslims living in Europe and North America to find out if they support "terrorism?" Do you honestly think that the following could produce only "good" results? Do you not see how this would infringe on the rights of these Americans? Do you not see how this would violate "Search and Seizure?" Do you not see how this is fighting fire with gasoline? This is not a Holy War; it's an unholy war. Suspected terrorists--like all criminals--should be arrested for crimes they have committed and/or in suspicion of committing. However, it is unreasonable to treat the so-called Muslim-American community as guilty.
This has nothing to do with PC. It's about protecting the innocent. This is done not only by retaliation, militarization, surveillance or new legislation. It is done by treating the innocent as innocent.
You speak to tolerance as an indication of modernity. How does your indictment--of Islam as a strictly violent and primitive religion--distinguish you from a radical?

Will all Americans be forced to: "condemn by name as terrorist groups such organizations as Abu Sayyaf, Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, Groupe islamique armée, Hamas, Harakat ul-Mujahidin, Hizbullah, Islamic Jihad, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, and Al-Qaeda?" Or just innocent so-called Muslim-Americans?

I wonder if you and all Americans can: "...accept the legitimacy of scholarly inquiry into the origins..." of their religions? You are not only attacking "terrorist's Islam" when you ask this question, you are attacking peaceful American citizens who practice Islam. In a country that grants us freedom to worship as we choose AND the freedom of speech, scholars are free to research and publish anything that they choose. Practitioners of that religion are free to ignore that publication and continue their practices, led by faith.

Do you see? What you suggest lacks consideration and respect for the many so-called Muslim-Americans living, working, breeding and dying in this country.
It undermines their natural rights and sovereignty. And all to protect us from criminals who should be dealt with like criminals once they have been identified as such--not all Muslims. You seem to devote a lot of time to criticizing the Muslim "world." Not just Islamic terrorists. When do you have time to practice your own faith?
You even censor your comment page from "...otherwise objectionable statements. " What might these be: Scholarly inquiry of your intellectual origins, perhaps?

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