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Further on Opposing Islamists, Deception, Britz

Reader comment on item: Identifying Islamists through Interrogations
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Submitted by probityrules (Canada), Mar 7, 2016 at 19:07

Good points Philip, worth responding to.

1. Re: progressive Muslims not protesting against Sharia and "passive Moslems will hardly ever fight against Islamists".
At a global level, there are quite a number of Muslim writers, politicians, etc. calling for reform of Islam, if you can call that fighting. There is a range of views among the progressives, not a unified position, which if it were formed would carry more power. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Fethullah Gulen, Irshad Manji are some names. See also "Criticisms of Islam" on Wikipedia. Islamists issue fatwas against these people, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, for one, lives under security protection.
Here is an example of a "progressive Muslim" in the USA who is living in resistance to fundamentalist/traditional Islam:
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-trump-muslim-idUSMTZSAPEC2KV6J6AZ

Egyptian President al Sisi called for reform to stop extremism:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEhNarfrlec

Also, moderate imams are speaking against Islamic State, terrorism, etc., winning Muslim minds for progressive jurisprudence. But western media don't report moderate imams' public opposition to terrorist incidents very much (which is simply a consequence of sensationalism grabbing more eyeballs on the internet and in print).
Lastly, a sizable number of Muslims were killed or injured in the various Arab Spring protests, which surely counts as fighting against Islamist ideology. OK, you can say half of the Arab Spring was opposition to corruption and dictatorship, and I accept, but there nevertheless exists a major desire for a more progressive form of Islam, which a lot of Muslims are actively working towards.

2. Re: hoodwinking, deception and taqiya.
I agree with your point that deception is more commonplace among Middle Easterners (my interpretation of your term "Asians") than westerners.
I would like to reply at a general level again. Various religions, not only Islam, justify lying under various circumstances. Taqiya is lying to avoid persecution. By comparison, some Christian denominations hold to the concept of "spiritual warfare" which includes lying – see Wikipedia. In particular, Jehovah's Witnesses practice "theocratic warfare":
http://freeminds.org/psych/whylie.htm

Knowing such things, then one ought to take the necessary precautions – in law, if a business dealing, or through a step by step relationship, if a personal situation - before proceeding. So much of this depends on the particular individual(s), as well as the religion in question, to gauge the level of trust that is appropriate.

3. Re: "Britz," which I watched on YouTube.
I enjoyed the wonderful visuals and characters. Episode 1 story line is decent, but Episode 2 is built on leaps of logic that are implausible. It feels like the director is using selected stereotypes to rouse the rabble with fear and guilt and whatever. Entertaining, but more a drama than a documentary.

4. Final thoughts.
My sense is the real battle is the emerging schism inside Islam, between progressive and modernist Muslims on one side, and Sharia fundamentalist and extremist Muslims on the other side. The battle is not so much the famous "clash of civilizations" between Christian west and Muslim east. This epic battle for hearts and minds and the future of Muslims will likely go on for decades at least, maybe 200 years.
A "passive Muslim", living in a western nation, just going about his/her daily business is actually contributing to progressive Islam.
I am very confident western philosophy, law and cultural traditions will continue to stand clear and strong no matter what happens. I am not in favour of modifying western secular law, e.g. divorce law, to accommodate Islamists, or any other religion. Any person, Muslim or otherwise, who breaks our secular laws, ought to be charged and tried, as usual.
Reform minded, progressive Muslims, especially the theologians, are deserving of westerners' support. On the other hand, Islamists ought to be treated with respectful non-cooperation, and can be encouraged to move to an Islamic republic, of which there are a sizable number, where they will be happier.

Submitting....

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