February 18, 2008

Moderate Muslims, Wherefore Art Thou?

"What percentage of a culture’s population can hold views that are completely at odds with the culture’s foundational reference points before said culture is irretrievably lost? 15%? 21%? 32%?" ... "Before it’s too late, Western nations should be asking themselves: with moderates like these, who needs extremists?"

When observing the cultural existential struggle of the age, it’s hard not to be reminded of the story of the emperor who had no clothes: the citizens were all afraid to be the first to speak up and say something wasn’t right, so they all agreed that the emperor’s clothes were the finest they’d ever seen when he was, in fact, quite obviously, naked. It’s clear our society is in a bit of trouble, but people can’t even talk about it without the same sort of fear felt by the naked emperor’s subjects.

We all know that dangerous jihadists have been found in Brampton and Birmingham, Dallas and Dearborn. This is indisputably factual. We are told, however, that instead of viewing this as a serious problem as common sense would suggest, these are insignificant ‘isolated incidents,’ far less worthy of concern than, for example, the global temperature increasing by 0.7 degrees Celsius over the next half-century. To go against the conventional wisdom on this is to be called an alarmist, or, better still, a ‘bigot’ or a ‘racist.’ ‘Every bushel has a few bad apples. The vast majority of Muslims are actually quite moderate,’ is what we’re told by way of consolation. This leaves us with the question: who are these moderate Muslims, and how much cause for comfort do they really provide us?

In the first place, I’m sure there were plenty of ‘moderates’ in, say, Japan, Italy and Germany in the 1930’s, but they don’t seem to have done themselves or anybody else much good. And remember the 9-11 widows who protested the Bush Doctrine with signs that read NOT IN OUR NAME? Good for them. But the next time Christians are harassed, jailed or murdered by Islamic mobs and/or governments in Egypt, Afghanistan, Thailand, Sudan, Nigeria etc., would it be too much to ask a few ‘moderate Muslims’ to walk down Main Street holding signs that read NOT IN OUR NAME? If so, Why? No, it is only possible to see the Western world as brimming with ‘moderate Muslims’ if we first profoundly lower the bar when it comes to our definition of moderation, to the point where anyone who’s not a card-carrying al-Qaeda member is a ‘moderate.’

I used to work in a warehouse that was, coincidentally, a half hour drive from the place where Aqsa Parvez was murdered by her father for refusing to wear a hijab. Some of my co-workers were friendly moderate Muslims, so I engaged them in a debate. It didn’t take too long to hit a brick wall; the tone became a little ‘edgy,’ and the conversation started going in circles. To save time I said, “Let’s cut to the chase: do you think the Holocaust actually happened?” The moderate fellow shrugged and said, “Who can say? The Jew says six million, but other experts say 30 000, so who knows? And anyhow, isn’t the ‘Occupied Territories’ situation a far worse crime etc. etc.” A few follow-up questions revealed more dismaying sentiments. My anecdotal evidence is backed up by statistics and numerous opinion polls: significant and growing numbers of Canadian and British ‘moderate Muslims’ think:

  1. The Holocaust is a myth/exaggeration,
  2. ‘The Jew’ is the real culprit behind 9-11, and
  3. Sharia is at least as valid as British common law.
Just last week the papers revealed an embarrassing bureaucratic snafu. The Canadian government says polygamy is a criminal affront to our way of life, yet somehow Toronto had been paying out higher welfare benefits to ‘moderate Muslims’ who were claiming multiple wives as dependents. Oops! I’m sure ‘proper steps’ will be taken, but hey, in a culture where ‘multiculturalism’ and anything-goes relativism are the highest virtues, how dare we claim the moral authority to say polygamy and treating women as soulless chattel are inferior to any other modes of behavior anyhow? As Emily Dickinson presciently warned, “The abdication of Belief makes the Behavior small.”

What percentage of a culture’s population can hold views that are completely at odds with the culture’s foundational reference points before said culture is irretrievably lost? 15%? 21%? 32%? Anybody? Once released, genies are notoriously reluctant to go back into their bottles. Before it’s too late, Western nations should be asking themselves: with moderates like these, who needs extremists?

Comments always appreciated

Post written and submitted by Darrell Epp
Darrell Epp blogs here

16 comments:

American Interests.blog said...

Radical or extremists will always pose a danger but so to can the purported moderates. After all, what is it that makes them moderates, dress, or attire, attitudes, and frequency of prayer? They still have a central true self to answer to, a self that remains intact throughout their lives in spite of the dominant contemporary and historical permanence, the institutional processes, values, ideology, culture and sub-cultures of the societies on which they reside.

We must not discount the likelihood, that moderates, even the homegrown kind, remain susceptible to their innermost voice. See: From radical to liberal Islam

Donald Douglas said...

Great job, Ottavio!

I love this line:

"We all know that dangerous jihadists have been found in Brampton and Birmingham, Dallas and Dearborn."

I'm hopeful that moderates will win out over extremists, except the faith itself is seen as a "religion of victory," implacably opposed to ecumenical/spiritual competitors.

American Interests.blog said...

Thanks Donald

MK said...

You won't see many moderates marching down the arab street saying, "not in our name", the violent and intolerant won't tolerate that.

Besides we need to remember that even though there may only be a small percentage of extremists living amongst us, that is enough to cause endless problems for a nation.

All you need is a few trouble-makers and an apathetic populace and the nation can be crippled. And this is not taking into account the terror that can be sown by the homicide bomber, the extremist who yearns for death upon the soft, weak westerner who doesn't even believe in the afterlife.

The westerner has the most to lose while the jihadist has the most to gain.

The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

A moderate is one who sits back and allows an extremist to contol the agenda.

A moderate is a fense rider who has no core of beliefs and as such rides the wind as it blows.

A moderate is dangerous because they do not take a tue stand on anything!

Moderate Muslims because of their apathy have allowed extremeist to control their religion, hijack their faith and kill innocent individuals in the name of their god. While sitting back and saying we are not like them.

Their fence sitting that allows, "Them, " is as strong a voice in support of, "Them, " as if they pulled the trigger themselves.

Karen said...

Well done, Otto. I think as long as the extremists, however large a group they are, are able to intimidate the moderate community, then the extremists win. We are beginning to hear of more and more honor killings and beatings in this country, particularly of fathers to daughters that are becoming too 'western'. Recently in Dallas there was the case of the taxi driver father who killed his two teenage daughters for listening to teen music and wanting to date boys. The apathy of this kind of infiltration into our society is frightening.

WomanHonorThyself said...

Brilliant otto!!
This leaves us with the question: who are these moderate Muslims, and how much cause for comfort do they really provide us? ..they DO not exist..thats where they are..invisible , unheard and hiding behind this veneer!

American Interests.blog said...

mk: "All you need is a few trouble-makers and an apathetic populace" ... an existing recipe!

Jungle Mom said...

Well said! I wish every American had to read this!

American Interests.blog said...

The Liberal lie the conservative truth: Thanks, you have presented an accurate, albeit disturbing analysis of the purported 'moderate'.

Karen: News of the ways/wares of thse people are yet to come to a head. Least we hope, beware the tolerant, PC minded liberal MSM. Thus the term apathy can also be applied to the latter.

angel: Oh there out there all right, suffering from a mental state of metamorphosis; attempting to perform a balancing act within our societies with allegiance to there extremists compatriots whilst publicly at least, appearing judicious.

American Interests.blog said...

jungle mom: Thank you ... How are things at the Jungle Hut? Will pay another visit soon...

http://jungle-hut.blogspot.com/

GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

OtToBaBe! Thanks for the intro to Darrell.

Very thought provoking. Thank you for sharing this.

American Interests.blog said...

GreatSatansGirl: Thanks

Debbie said...

Great job as always. The true moderates are afraid and who can blame them. A few are beginning to speak out, under threat of death. We must give those few the credit they deserve.

But as I have discussed, who protects those few that do speak out? Are they on their own? It seems that way today.

The Pakistani Spectator represents some brave folks who are doing what they can to speak out for CONSERVATIVE values, for freedom. They interviewed me (they must be desperate, ha).

http://righttruth.typepad.com/right_truth/2008/02/the-pakistani-s.html

Tapline said...

Otto, I have read many articles about this horrific situation that we find outselves in. While trying to accommodate certain individuals, we now find ourselves threatened by these very people whom we tried to help. They have perverted our systems, using our laws to protect individuals and religion against us and we do not know how to respond. It is time for action and I see no actions coming from our elected representatives. when these people including our president does not see the error of not seeing the true danger we face as a nation. We are in a very bad situation..AS the man says" the emporer has no close" But who is going to tell him????...I ramble.....

American Interests.blog said...

Debbie: Sadly what you say is so true. Thanks for the link...

Tapline: I see you get it .. time for action I say...thanx