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moderate muslims

Reader comment on item: Moderate Muslims March in Phoenix

Submitted by BART WILLRUTH (United States), Apr 30, 2004 at 11:39

As a formally trained (ex) theologian, a student of history and philosopy, and a careful observer of current philosophical winds, I submit that the concept "moderate Muslim" is a concept with no referent in reality.

With Islam, as with all other religious systems, it serves no purpose to study and interpret the intent of the founder's notions, nor those of the surviving holy documents, vis a vis the state of the contemporary form of the religion. That which defines contemporary Islam is the belief and sense of "reality" that is followed by its clergy and followers. The current doctrinal state of Islam may or may not correspond closely with the intent of the prophet. That is a question for theologians and historians, but it is not a determination of what it means to be Muslim today. The beliefs of current Islam as they relate to the outside world are as follows:

1. Submission to Allah as communicated by the prophet and interpreted by the
clerics is the dividing line between all people. The current beliefs of the clerics
is thus ultimately the ground of contemporary Islam.
2. Believers are those who are in submission. Those who do not submit are
infidels and enemies of Allah. This clear either-or distinction sets up the
jihad attitude which negates the possibility of moderation.
3. Islam must conquer the world. Just as communism was a threat to the
world in its quest to become universal, so too Islam is seen by its adherants
as being destined for universality. Since Allah uses his followers to carry out
his will, and his will is for all to submit, it is the responsibility of Muslims to
destroy all institutions opposed to that mission. The ultimate mission calls
for the entire world to eventually be Islamic. Infidels will someday no longer
4. Force is an acceptable method for accomplishing the mission. Even those
who would personally shrink from using force are expected to condone or
support it; that is the spirit of Jihad.

The Arab/Muslim street today is vibrant with the jihadic spirit. The average Muslim feels oppressed by the satanic forces of the infidels. He is encouraged by his religious leaders to strike back, with attitude if not in act.

The "moderate Muslim" constructed by outsiders is a fantasy. He is either a secularized and non-practising former believer except in name, or he is a wish. In order to exist in reality, this voice of moderation would need to still be a believing, practising insider who stands in opposition to all around him. It should come as no surprise that there are no such leaders coming forward to denounce the spirit of Jihad.

Why do we look for and search for such moderates? It can only be to serve political purposes and to refrain from openly naming the true enemy of our culture and our civilization. So long as Western political and thought leaders equivocate on the nature and name of the threat, the response to the threat will remain tepid. We hear continuously that the enemy is radical or militant Islam. But when it is nigh impossible to find an example of a "moderate" much less a moderate movement, is it not foolish and counterproductive to continue to search for one. Is it not even more foolish to claim in the absence of evidence that the vast majority of contemporary Muslims are moderate and that we must only contend with a small radical fringe?


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