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Moderate is as Moderate Does?

Reader comment on item: A Million Moderate Muslims on the March
in response to reader comment: Definitely Brave Muslims

Submitted by Dr. Richard Benkin (United States), May 9, 2007 at 17:49

There are two issues here: what makes a moderate; and what makes a courageous fighter. As to the second, Shoaib has taken a public over and over again and has refused to leave his country as he has received numerous offers to do so for his safetly. That is because he believes that only by defeating the Islamists from inside the Muslim world would we secure a real victory that will encourage others to speak out against them. Think about how many people have the courage to put themselves in real danger for a principle.

As to the first, that action by Shoaib against radicalism makes him ipso facto a moderate Muslim because he fights radicalism. People are beginning to awaken to the importance of what he is doing to fight radicalism; again making him a champion for the alternative.

As to your other questions, I believe there are some conceptual differences. First of all, westerners have very different definitions of what makes a moderate. Perhaps the one thing people agree on is that a true moderate will stand up to radical Islam and thus encourage others to do the same. But even based on your initial question, no, being moderate would not make him " non-Muslim." Islam is a complex faith made simple by those who have demanded a radical adherence not specifically to the Quran but to specific interpretations by particular individuals.

True, there are some disturbing lines in the Quran, but I study Torah every week and can come up with disturbing lines from my own holy book. It is only those who irrationally demand a literal adherence to every such line who would corrupt any faith.

There is no dhimmi tax for non-Muslims in Bangladesh; in fact, it has a secular constitution that has been corrupted in practice by those who seek to revise Bangladeshi values and laws. The sort of things you itemize would require an adherence to the Bangladeshi constitution--written mostly by Muslims--and not apostasy.

I would suggest that it is popular among many to say that radical Islam continues Islam in practice, but not historically accurate. The complex of social, political, and historical forces involved are immense such generalizations really miss them.

For instance, what did Pat mean when he asked "what about the rest of it"? If he means the few issues he listed, then the answer is clear that Shoaib (and others) are indeed Moderate and Muslim.


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