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Moderate Islam exits but disappears when needed

Reader comment on item: Do Moderate Muslims Exist?

Submitted by Prashant (United States), Dec 13, 2019 at 23:33

Dear Dr Pipes, what is the definition of moderacy? If I have to guess I would say that moderate people are flexible and do not attach to any set of principles stubbornly. Believe it or not, by this definition, Islam is a sufficiently moderate religion. The only problem is that moderate Islam lives and dies by convenience and not on principle. The most common example is marriage and sex. Muslim men when they come to non-Muslim societies are eager to have out-of-wedlock sex with non-Mulsim women and marry them as needed. They do not care to stick to strict Islamic guidelines regarding sex and marriage. Afghanistan is (or has been) a major producer of contraband drugs. No stubbornness there either. Smoking is haram in Islam but is practiced widely in the Islamic world. So is the consumption of alcohol. In the matters of religion --praying five times a day, for example-- also Muslims are known to be very flexible.

So when does Islam drop its moderacy? When it comes to politics, winning conversions, and land-grabbing, Muslims get pretty non-moderate. In free democracies, they are very stubbornly attached to their rights. They are also pretty stubborn about Islamic nations being non-democracies. In the matter of marriages, they stubbornly like to convert everyone to their religion. And if they become in majority, they are pretty stubborn about fighting for their freedom.

So flexibility is a matter of convenience in Islam. You can be as flexible as you want when it comes to your personal conduct in relation to Islam but when it comes to claiming more land, or more converts or more political power for Islam, you need to be very principled and stubborn. Such is the case.


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Daniel Pipes replies:

"Smoking is haram in Islam": Not so. Tobacco was unknown when Islam came into being and so could not be called haram. Lately, for health reasons, there are attempts to make it haram, but that is new and far from universally accepted.

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