Thursday, August 31, 2006

How Do You Define a 'Moderate' Moslem?

The dictionary definition of a moderate is "professing or characterized by political or social beliefs that are not extreme"

You'd think you knew what that means, except when talking about moderate Moslems.

Abbas is a moderate, not because he eschews violence, but because he 'recognizes' it has not been effective.

The Imam Zaid Shakir is apparently a moderate because he is willing to wait for the US to become a Moslem country under Islamic law.

Over at The Corner, Cliff May quotes from an interview with Pierre Rehov, a French documentary maker. His latest film is Suicide Killers, based on interviews he conducted with the families of suicide bombers and would-be bombers.

At one point Rehov is asked whether the principal motivation of suicide bombers is religious.
Yes, it is their only conviction. They don't act to gain a territory or to find freedom or even dignity. They only follow Allah, the supreme judge, and what He tells them to do. …

The main difference between moderate Muslims and extremists is that moderate Muslims don't think they will see the absolute victory of Islam during their lifetime, therefore they respect other beliefs.
The extremists believe that the fulfillment of the Prophecy of Islam and ruling the entire world as described in the Koran, is for today. Each victory of Bin Laden convinces 20 million moderate Muslims to become extremists. …
Rehov is not an expert on Islam, nor is it clear what forms the basis of his opinion. Nevertheless, why does the definition of the term 'moderate' change--and is accepted in its changed meaning--when talking about Islam? Why suddenly is a moderate accepted not as someone who actually eschews extremism as wrong, but someone who pragmatically eschews extremism because it is ineffective--but would gladly use extreme measures, such as violence, the moment they would be effective.

Can it be that there are no moderate Moslems?
Or is the media just afraid there might not be?

See also The Prototypical Hamas Moderate

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