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Reader comment on item: Bolstering Moderate Muslims

Submitted by Abu Nuwas (Bahrain), Apr 18, 2007 at 12:47

The Rand study is a serious attempt to find answers to the intractable "Muslim Problem". Unfortunately, it was written by people who know little of Islam "in vivo" and even less of Muslim countries. It is a manifesto written by Westerners for Westerners in western terms.

Were it to be translated into Arabic and presented to the Arab world as the "best that has been thought and written" on the subject by Western "bon pensants", it would be a cause for despondency and despair…..and not a little mirth.

What it finally does is to show once again the huge gap that exists and has always existed between "dar al islam" and "dar al harb". The study does little to bridge that chasm. Any such study, for example, that mentions the likes of Ibn Warraq as other than a comic figure, can hardly be taken seriously.

Do "moderate Muslims" really exist? It's a term I myself would never use, anymore than I would use the term "moderate Christians" or "moderate Westerners". It's an interesting way of describing a group of people, to be sure, in that it tends to satisfy the yearning to "find an answer".

But in the end, it's a useless term.

No matter how moderate a Muslim might be designated, no matter how "westernized" he may consider himself or be, there's not a single Muslim on the planet that turns to Mecca five times a day that doesn't believe, deep down, that Islam is the wave of the future and that the entire world should, must and will eventually be Islamicized.

They may vociferously decry the militant, apocalyptic and murderous tactics of the "Islamists", but they will never for a moment deny their ultimate cause of bringing about a completely Islamicized world. Read the works of the UCLA law professor Khaled Abou El Fadl, for example, a secularized, westernized, moderate Muslim if there ever was one, and you'll see that this is true.

That most Muslims are not Arabs is an interesting statistic, of course, but to suggest, as the Rand study does, that the US should turn its attention away from the Middle East because the Middle East "offers less fertile ground for moderate network and institution building than other regions of the Muslim world" shows the deeply flawed, almost desperate thrust that informs this report. Such a suggestion is so preposterous as to hardly be worthy of comment.

What solution is there then? There is no solution……that's what "Los Reyes Catolicos", Ferdinand and Isabela of Spain finally realized. They didn't solve their problem. They simply made it disappear.


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