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RE A Million Muslims

Reader comment on item: A Million Moderate Muslims on the March

Submitted by J Overton (United States), May 8, 2007 at 12:15

Oh, there may be "moderates" amongst Muslims world-wide, but they come in two types only.

The first are those who have been heavily educated and or acculterated in the West. These tend to be, but are not exclusively, secularists and pluralists and rationalists in practice and usually in thinking.

The second are "moderates" in Muslim nations where there is some form within a key controlling group, usually military, of a tradition of non-theocratic governmental principles of operation of some kind. They almost exclusively express themselves when a local, nationalist, throcratically motivated group seeks to become ascendant or assert its controlling participation in civic affairs directly. Turkey fits this pattern perfectly if hesitantly, thanks mostly to Kemal & Kompany.

But, make no mistake about it. Turkey, and for that matter Pakistan, are not pluralistic, rationalist, etc. for non-Turks and non-Pakistanis. Christians are killed frequently in both nations for holding and practicing their faith, much less for recruiting/converting others to it. Non-Muslim civic and legal rights are at best a veneer. Dihimitude is part of the established legal system to significant degree.

I have friends currenly living in both. They cannot safely wear their crucifixes, where even just the chains might be seen. They cannot find open discussion of things theological anywhere, except in some university classrooms and more likely in the hushed privacy of a professor's home where two or three are gathered. They repeatedly utilize legal fictions to function in the societies. There is certainly no honest or open debate, or even nascent multi-culturalism, much less Islamic moderates as a predictably functioning group. In truth, it is highly likely the governments played a key role in fomenting and channeling the demonstrations. Had they opposed them, they likely would not have happened.

This is an issue where we cannot throw our hearts over the fence and then think we can go chase them. Islam is no more definitionally non-violent than Nationalism Socialism or International Communism were and can be again. And, only individuals who are personally predominantly secularists can occasionally find the nerve to express their thinking in public, visibly. The devout will not risk their immortal souls to do it, and the mullahs and the rest all know it.


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