Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Where are the Moderate Muslims?

Ahmed wrote: The charges have been loud and vociferous, and

sometimes even outlandish. “There is no such thing as

moderate Muslims;” “they are dangerous sleeper cells;”

“they are in cahoots with the extremists and as such

are themselves a ticking bomb;” and my personal

favorite, “they have the sudden Jihadist syndrome,” or

perhaps the capacity to combust, as in spontaneous human combustion.

Lawrence responds,

Ahmed, You don’t say anything of your own in this post of yours, but I will assume you are saying that Anti-Islamism is as much a malediction as anti-Americanism. I’ll further assume that you agree with the author of the post you cite, Abukar Arman. I do share Arman’s concern but I see it differently. I have wondered where Moderate Muslims were in the Middle East. Several times I made the comment that if I ever found a reasonable article from a moderate Muslim he was sure to be writing from the safety of the U.S. or Europe or some other safe place. There is no question but that Moderate Muslims exist in great numbers in the U.S., but unfortunately they have been subdued in the Middle East. I don’t find them speaking out there, and it was about that I was most concerned – a concern Arman doesn’t seem to share – or rather he seems to suggest that somehow we in the U.S. are muting our moderate Muslims in their attempts to educate Muslims in the Middle East. I seriously doubt that many Muslims in the Middle East care what they write. The comments I have read suggest that the Middle-Eastern Muslims, the Moderates who don’t write or speak out, feel resentful against Muslims who flee to America and from there boldly speak out. “Who cares what they write in America? They have almost certainly sold out to the enemy,” seems to be the resentful accusation.

There have been moderates who have spoken out in the Middle East, but they have been killed, abused, or hounded out of their home country by the people, presumably, you and Arman would wish us to exercise more tolerance toward, or perhaps Arman is only interested in American Moderates.

As to the reaction against all of Islam seen occasionally in the U.S.; I’ve noticed that as well. I favored the Dubai Port deal. Bush’s Neocon administration wanted to favor those who were “with us” against the Terrorists and Dubai was in that category. The failure does indicate that the majority of Americans and their congressional representatives are inclined to lump all of Islam together. But unlike Arman who blames elements in the U.S., I blame the Islamic Moderates of the Middle East for not showing that there is a significant force out there (in the Middle East) which is not actively bent upon harming us or supporting or sympathizing with those who are.

Lawrence Helm

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