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Bad Things Happen, When Good People Do Nothing

Reader comment on item: It's Not Road Rage, It's Terrorism
in response to reader comment: muslims, not islamists

Submitted by Michel C. Zala (Switzerland), Apr 24, 2012 at 12:42

I understand the debate as pure Semantics.

While I agree with Dr. Pipes insofar, as indeed there are movements pursuing actively an Islamist agenda, while other muslims seem to belong to a silent group not doing anything of note, not speaking out against terror or expansion, or promoting the notion that Islam should undergo some form of reformation, I nevertheless condemn such inaction or passivity as indirectly supporting the radical islamistic faction.

It is exactly because of these passive Muslims, that the Islamists seem to gain ground, as only resistance from within a muslim population, loud voices of respected and reputed muslim scholars, Imams, Mullahs etc. openly and clearly condemning terrorism and all the radical dogma referenced from the Quran and supporting literature, can possibly stem the tide of islamist motivated aggression.

When bystanders do or say nothing, while crimes against humanity are being committed, they themselves become co-conspirators and accomplices, which is why I must see at least some merit in the comments above, promoting a somewhat unilateral label for these people by calling them (yes - simplistic indeed) all just Muslims.

Since Islamism by most accounts is a quasi-built-in element of standard (unreformed, antiquated, medieval, unquestioned, undebated) muslim dogma, scriptures, which are not to be discussed or doubted without risking harsh penalties (Fatwas etc.); since no evident movement of a more modern, moderate Islam seems to exist, all Muslims must be held accountable.

To use an analogy - even if a driver of a gang, robbing a bank and killing people in the process, never enters the bank itself, never holds a weapon, never engages in any violent act during the robbery, he nevertheless must be held accountable and must be punished as harshly as the guys in the bank itself (US law).

By differing here between Islamists and normal Muslims we create a classification hoping that future Muslims will fit its attributes and requirements. Just in case that they actually exist and will eventually rise. Years ago I myself in this forum have heatedly debated and argued the existence of a silent majority of moderate muslims. The times and events have eroded my optimism utterly. Again and again I have hoped for and publicly called upon moderate muslims to voice opposition to Islamism, from ISR to Turkey, Egypt to Jordan, only to find myself utterly disappointed and disillusioned.

Votes, polls, statistics, surveys, studies and political developments over just the last decade, 10 years of turmoil, debate, wars and civil unrest, revolutions, arab spring etc. etc. have produced nothing, nichevo, nada, zilch in terms of a broad movement of moderate Islam. On the contrary. Islamism is on the rise like never before. Huge segments of muslims even in European nations and stable democracies have become radical, polarized, activist and islamistic in nature. Not to even mention the developments in their original muslim countries, where Islamism is in the process of replacing repressive regimes.

I do not know of a single moderate muslim organization, simply condemning Islamism without the ever present element of justification of muslim violence or even terror. " We of course condemn violence, but..... ISR, USA, Imperialists, ......" is the mantra most often offered. In private as in the public debate, there is always this (unspoken or carefully verbalized) element of appeasement and understanding of the "root causes" of Terror and Islamism. Never ever by no org or no individual speaker of muslim religion have I learned or heared about a straight-forward, clear-cut condemnation or even a call to reformation of those harsh, medieval notions stemming from the Quran itself. There is always that "but"....-

To create now this differentiation between Islamists and Muslims, who provide the base, the foundation, the backbone, the theological source and recruitment pool for the forementioned is comparably like the active IRA vs their political arm. They're both guilty in my book, and the differentiation only creates some form of curtain or shield behind which the non-military arm of the same Islamists (in spirit) can hide and unfettered pursue their expansive agenda.

Appeasement, apologizing and Kumbayah has provenly not worked. Instead of allowing the passive, "moderate", silent majority of muslims to hide behind a fruitless differentiation between Islamists and Muslims in genero, thus silently or subvertly supporting their radicals, as silence by definitaion or pure nature of the beast must be understood as support, it is time now to call all muslims out.

It is time to declare yourself as either part of the problem or part of the solution. By doing or saying nothing, you become a co-conspirator and will suffer the consequences from racial profiling to tight leishes on your practising your religion in host countries of the western kind. You fight with us for prosperity, peace, stability and cooperation, tolerance and acceptance and do so openly, and we will not be forced to prohibit veils and burquas, minaretts and mosques or monitor your preachers and all your movement.

As long, as you do not speak out and remain passive and apologetic vs your own terrorists and islamists, do not dare to clamor about the backlash in law enforcement, politics and immigration. do not whine about airport security, no-fly lists, and random searches or the overall mistrust in western societies you face on a daily basis.

On that note, I conclude by stating that it is my sincere opinion that any differentiation between Muslims and Islamists at this time is more counter-productive than not. It is not for us to hope that moderate Muslims exist, but for them to prove themselves as deserving that classification. At present Muslims do not deserve to be treated or named differently than Islamists. I hope to be proven wrong eventually.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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