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Is There Really a "Middle" on this Issue?

Reader comment on item: Once considered anti-Islam, senior scholar says he's now in the middle

Submitted by Ron Thomposon (United States), Aug 19, 2010 at 16:01

I can agree in deploring the "unsophisticated tone" not only of many bloggers but of the supposedly mainstream Republicans who are using the mosque issue more to beat up on Democrats than to focus on the core threats involved in the drive to build it, especially as personified in the "moderate" Imam behind it and his wife.

The biggest threat is failing to see what a fraud the "moderates" are. A soulmate or 'brother' of the NY mosque Imam, Akbar Ahmed, gave a classic example of this fraud on the Diane Rehm this past week. A high school teacher named "Corey" called in from White Plains, NY and very reasonably suggested that representatives of Islam acknowledge the "dark side" of Islam as a legitimate part of the public debate.

Ahmed (and I've watched him in action before - he's a mysteriously respected "moderate" Moslem and Professor), said, "Corey, you are right that Moslems need to 'explain ' Islam better" (note the substitution of that word for 'acknowledge") And then, in the same polite tone of voice, went on to excoriate all those(including Corey of course) who would offend hundreds of million of devout Moslems worldwide by displaying "Islamophobia" or otherwise "discriminating against their sacred beliefs."

This, which exactly mirrors comments by the NY Imam, is moderation?

If we can't see through the fraud of Moslems "moderates" - they attack our right to criticize anything about Islam, but, hey, they don't join the 'radicals' in calling for critics to be beheaded - well then maybe we need the rough and even crude vigor of bloggers to break though the complacent mindset that assumes there is anything to expect from Islam's "moderates".

Perhaps we should be reminded of the rather crude figures who arose in the late 1850's and wartime 1860's - Oliver Morton, Ben Wade, Zachariah Chandler, etc - who arose in the wake of the failed "moderates'" of the time who tried to turn away the great crisis over Slavery and Secession, and came very close to losing the country forever in the process.


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