Mythical Moderate Muslim
by Yashiko Sagamori
Primitive tribes offer sacrifices hoping to
mollify whatever nonexistent beings they believe in. The New York Times
columnist Paul Krugman belongs to a very sophisticated tribe that,
according to the recently retired Malaysian Prime Minister, rules the
world by proxy. One would think Mr. Krugman should be above such crude
superstitions. Nevertheless, in his column on October 21, he suggests
that Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld should fire General Boykin in order
to mollify moderate Muslims.
the leading anti-terror expert at the Pentagon and a devout Christian,
had openly and publicly, on several occasions, expressed his personal
opinion of Islam, which happens to be rather low. Considering where
the terror is coming from, this is far less surprising than Mr.
Krugman's eagerness to sacrifice both General Boykin and the First
Amendment to mollify moderate Muslims. I'd like to ask Mr. Krugman
what gives him a reason to believe that the beings he is trying to
mollify actually exist.
politically correct point of view says that Islam is just another
monotheistic religion, not that different from Judaism or
Christianity. If that is true, then moderate Muslims must exist, just
like moderate members of other faiths. However, moderate members of
other faiths do not require sacrificial mollification — that's
basically how we tell moderates from extremists. Therefore, either
moderate Muslims are mythical creatures, or we need substantially
different criteria to identify them. That dilemma alone should make us
suspicious as to whether Islam is “just another religion”.
Obviously, it is important that we determine how a moderate Muslim can
be distinguished from a Muslim extremist.
Why not ask Muslims themselves? Irshad Manji,
a young Canadian author, has published a book titled The Trouble With
Islam. Since we don't hear too many Muslim voices criticizing their
religion, her book deserves our attention. This is what the author
herself says on her promotional website (http://www.muslim-refusenik.com/the_book_index.html):
appreciate that every faith has its share of literalists.
Christians have their Evangelicals. Jews have the
ultra-Orthodox. For God's sake, even Buddhists have
fundamentalists. But what this book hammers home is that only
in Islam the literalism is mainstream.
Apparently, the terms literalism
and fundamentalism in the quotation above are used
interchangeably, as synonyms of religious extremism. Unfortunately,
the author fails to mention the most important difference between
“literalists” in Islam and other religions. Evangelical Christians
may believe that heaven is reserved for them alone. Ultra-Orthodox
Jews may display intimate understanding of the murkiest places in the
Talmud. I have no idea what extreme fundamentalist Buddhists do that
sets them apart from their moderate coreligionists. What I do know
however is that no religion except Islam pursues the idea of physical
extermination of those who believe differently. The concept of holy
war is unique to Islam. Jihad is the absolute monopoly of Muslims.
There is no parallel to it in any other religion in the world. (Yes, I
have heard about Crusades, but Christianity does not mandate them, and
do you know when the last Crusade ended?)
So, here we have it in plain English, as
simple as A, B, C:
The conclusion is
to the Koran, holy war against the infidels is a sacred duty
of every Muslim.
to Ms. Manji, mainstream Muslims interpret Koran literally.
Muslims perceive war against the infidels — meaning you and
me — as their sacred duty.
Once you understand that, you don't need
books to explain to you what exactly the trouble with Islam is. The
trouble with Islam derives from the fact that mainstream Islam openly
calls for murder of all infidels. That's why Islam is not “just
another religion”. That's what, in my view, allows to classify all
its followers as extremist.
What then, besides
our stubborn, groundless faith in the general goodness of our fellow
human beings, leads us to believe that moderate Muslims are not just a
figment of our imagination? How do they manifest themselves in the
It would be
utterly useless to look for them in Gaza, Judea, or Samaria. Unlike
bin Laden, terrorists occupying Israeli lands do not live in caves.
They live in small towns, villages and crowded refugee camps where
everyone knows everything about everyone else. They couldn't survive
for a day without popular support. When someone gives them a reason to
doubt the sincerity of his support, they label him a collaborator and
murder him on the spot. Indeed, the PA-sponsored educational system
guarantees that innocent children are indoctrinated in the most
murderous variety of Islamic extremism — thereby losing their
innocence — at the earliest possible age. Therefore, in Israel, a
moderate Muslim is a dead Muslim, which is bad news for those who want
us to believe that there is a peaceful solution to the continuing Arab
war against Israel.
elsewhere. Afghanistan, liberated by the United States from the
medieval tyranny of the Taliban is about to publish the draft of its
first constitution. Their new constitution is going to be firmly based
on Islamic principles. The country itself is soon to be renamed the
Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. We wouldn't call a Jew or a Christian
who wanted his religion to become the basis of his country's
constitution a moderate, would we? Here, in the United States, we
value the separation of church from state so much that we launch court
battles to remove the Ten Commandments and every reference to God from
everything that is even remotely related to the government. If Islam
is “just another religion”, shouldn't the same criteria apply to
Muslim countries? And if the same criteria do apply, we have to
conclude that President Karzai installed in Afghanistan by the
American military and unable to survive now or in the foreseeable
future without the American military presence, is not a moderate
Muslim, but an outright religious extremist. His “Very correct”
remark to Mahadir's call for the extermination of Jews shows that he
is a political extremist as well. Therefore, the only practical
question regarding Afghanistan is why did the United States have to
waste lives of its soldiers and tens of billions of dollars in order
to replace one bunch of Muslim extremists with another? It might have
been worthwhile had it improved our security at home, but, as we know,
that didn't happen. Therefore, we have to conclude that the United
States has once again won a battle but lost the war. Next, the same
will inevitably happen in Iraq.
for moderate Muslims goes all around the world. It is especially
urgent in Europe whose face is being irreversibly altered by mass
immigration from Islamic countries. Recently, the British government
appealed to the growing British Muslim community to isolate extremists
in their midst. It's not hard to predict the response. Actually, there
will be no response, because everyone in any Muslim
community is an extremist. Such is the nature of Islam, and the only
thing that I find hard to comprehend is the self-imposed blindness of
the British government. Apparently, such is the price of liberalism
and political correctness. Bye-bye, Europe. We are next.
I don't think
World War II could be won if the Allies, instead of eradicating
Nazism, attempted to replace Nazi extremists with moderate Nazis.
Actually, nobody was looking for moderate Nazis during World War II.
But those were simpler, purer times. Today, the mythical moderate
Muslim remains the focal point of the US foreign policy in the Middle
East. The blind faith in his existence has already led the United
States to many monumental failures, and many more are to be expected
in the future. Meanwhile, the moderate Muslim, along with the Big
Foot, the unicorn, the Loch Ness monster, remains more elusive than a
cure for cancer: there is at least a theoretical possibility that a
cure for cancer can be found one day, unless of course Islam takes
over and drags us all down into its own endless Dark Ages.
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If you still think there is such thing as moderate Muslim please
see this message
sent by one such specimen .