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The utter irrelevance of the recent protests and why they are misleading

Reader comment on item: Bolstering Moderate Muslims

Submitted by Noah Wilk (United States), May 4, 2007 at 19:47

"Much ado about nothing" would be a perfect description of the recent protests in Karachi and Turkey. Those who indulge in the delusion of a "moderate movement" in Islam are pointing to the protests and nodding their heads frantically, claiming that as proof of their absurd claims.

The protests are irrelevent, meaningless, and misleading

Here is why.

First, let us look at Karachi. There are 180,000 Christians, 120,000 Roman Catholics, and 100,000 Hindus living in Karachi. That amounts to 400,000 non-Muslims who belong to a religion adamantly opposed to Islam, living in Karachi. The protests drew forth only 100,000 people. Now clearly there was no census taken in order to tabulate how many of the protesters were Christian, how many were Hindu, how many were Muslim, etc. But it defies logic, common sense, and historical precedence to make the highly erroneous assumption that those 100,000 protesters were all Muslims. Quite the contrary, most likely the vast majority were not Muslim. I would suggest that virtually all of them were non-Muslim, given the numbers we have to work with. If even a quarter of the non-Muslims turned out, that would account for every protester being non-Muslim.

Second, let us take a peek at Turkey. Again, they claimed 500,000 protesters. There are at least 140,000 Christians, Jews, and other non-Muslims living in Turkey. How many of those 500,000 were non-Muslim? But for sake of argument, let us assume that all 500,000 protesters were indeed Muslims. The population of Turkey is over 71 million. Do the math and you get only 0.7% of Muslims in Turkey who stood up against Sharia law. Conversely, 99.3% of them did not stand up to oppose Sharia law. Again, that is assuming that all 500,000 were Muslim, which defies common sense, logic, and historical precedence. So we can safely assume that only about 0.5% -0.6% of Muslims attended. Hardly what I would call a strong turn out, all things considered.

Third, it is vital not to confuse a protest against the institution of Sharia law with the concept of being a peace-loving, tolerant, moderate person. How many terrorists who commit atrocities live in countries where there is no Sharia law, out of preference for the freedom they have in non-Sharia states? What about all the Muslims living in non-Sharia states who danced in the streets celebrating the horrendous and cowardly 9/11 atrocities? It is a logical fallacy to assume that simply because a group of people do not want to live under Sharia law, they are peace-loving, tolerant, moderate people who do not wish harm on America.

Fourth, these protests do not counter the fact that Sharia has been voted into being virtually everywhere Muslims get to vote. The so-called Palestinians voted in Hamas (a known terrorist group), who are working on instituting Sharia law. In Afghanistan they voted and instituted Sharia law. In Iraq they voted that no law can supercede Sharia law (though Sharia is not technically the law of the land there). Sharia law has a tendency to pop up in Islamic society and spread like cancer. Iran. Saudi Arabia. Need I go on?

Fifth, those who point vigorously at these irrelevant protests are not rising to the challenge of answering the question "why do so few Muslims living in America and other free countries stand up for reform in Islam?". I am far less concerned with protests half a world away, but more concerned with this Fifth Column of Muslims living in America (and other Western countries) who refuse to stand up for reform.

Finally, if we add together the 100,000 protesters in Karachi and the 500,000 in Turkey and assume for sake of argument (in defiance of common sense, logic, and historical precedence) that every single one of them was Muslim, that still accounts for only for only 0.03% of all Muslims worldwide. Only 0.03% stood against Sharia law while the other 99.97% did not protest it. And again, protesting Sharia law does not make one peaceful, tolerant, or moderate by default.

So there you have it. The protests are irrelevant and meaningless, while those who point to the protests as proof of a "moderate movement" in Islam are ...presenting it in a totally misleading manner.


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