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Western scholars, think tanks say, there is no place for moderate Muslims in Islam

Euroislam, Moderate Islam, Moderate Muslim, Jihad, Terrorism, Islamic terrorism

Oped

Western scholars, think tanks say, there is no place for moderate Muslims in Islam

In today’s world, a section of Western scholars and think-tanks are running orchestrated propaganda stating no Muslim can ever be moderate or secular unless they leave Islam. They also are increasing the frequency of their propaganda with the rogue mission of branding Islam as the religion of terror and every Muslim as terrorist. Such rogue tendencies are increasing, when the number of Muslims confronting terrorism and religious hatred are on rise. And these scholars and think-tanks are gradually becoming vessel of spreading religious hatred and hate-speech.

Moderate Islam, moderation in Islam and moderate Muslim is a label used within counterterrorism discourse as the complement of “Islamic extremism”, implying that the support of Islamic terrorism is the characteristic of a “radical” faction within Islam, and that there is a “moderate” faction of Muslims who denounce extremist violence such as Islamic terrorism, militant Jihadism and radical Islamism.

Let me mention here that, moderate views, in the first sense, are widespread according to opinion polls. A majority in eleven Sunni Muslim countries are very negative towards the Islamic State. Moderate perceptions are especially common among Muslims in the western world, for example Euroislam. Of US Muslims, 82 percent (2017) are concerned about Muslim global extremism, 81 percent believe that suicide bombing can never be justified, and 48 percent believe Muslim leaders have not done enough to prevent extremism (2011).

Several Muslim scholars have noted the harm caused by using the term “moderate.” It implies that being fully Muslim is dangerous, and that terrorism and extremism are the norm in the Islamic tradition. The writer Shireen Younus explains, “The qualifier of “moderate” suggests that there is something innately violent about Islam. It leads to the false conclusion that a small group of “moderates” is standing in opposition to a large swath of violent, ISIS-supporting radicals. This is simply not true because the reality is the complete opposite. When the media talks about “moderate Muslims”, they are perpetuating a dangerous narrative of Islam as a violent religion that is at odds with American society”.

The Doctor of Law Lorenzo G. Vidino describes the term as “inherently controversial, vague and subjective” and Muslim scholars such as Dr Debbie Almontaser have argued that Muslim populations predictably find the “moderate Muslim” label offensive.

Adrian Cherney and Kristina Murphy argue that the categorizations of moderate/extremist are not neutral, and that their widespread deployment “deprives Muslims of the agency to define the parameters of the debate around counterterrorism and also the terms of reference through which they are labelled as either for or against terrorism”. Although some Muslims do employ the use of such language, it is seen by others as further stigmatizing Muslim communities and Islam.

The Pakistani born journalist Sarfraz Manzoor also argues that the “moderate Muslim” label is offensive, as he believes that it implies ordinary Islam is not inherently peaceful. Others believe that it implies that “moderate Muslims” are not “fully Muslim”, or that the term equivalates “progressive” or “secular” with “moderate”. Others, such as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (in response to the Saudi Crown Prince’s ‘moderate Islam’ pledge) reject the term as a Western notion stating that there is only one Islam. Meaning, Erdoğan wants every Muslim to be worshippers of terrorism, jihad and support murder of “non-Muslims” and continuation of destruction and anarchism throughout the world. Iranian mullahs also echo the same notion.

The general criticism of this term is that it implies that the “Islam” and “Muslim” refer to something inherently violent, giving the impression that they need an adjective (“moderate”) to assure otherwise.

Meaning, those scholars want to label every Muslim in the world as terrorist giving no space for the Muslims to confront anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial and terrorism. Their aspiration for Muslims is to become as cruel and as evil as Adolf Hitler and his Nazi forces.

In an article ex-Muslim Saleem Smith wrote in Jihad Watch:

The Qur’an in numerous passages describes lax, or moderate Muslims, as being hypocrites deserving of scorn and persecution. Speaking as a former Muslim, this raises grave concerns when one considers realities such as Islam’s death penalty for apostasy and the jihad imperative.

For a multitude of reasons (though chiefly for disbelief in or lack of adherence to Islamic teachings) the Qur’an often categorizes some groups of both Muslims and non-Muslims alike as being hypocrites. Since this article is primarily concerned with addressing the subject of how the Islamic texts view lax/moderate Muslims, it is important to consider the general meaning of the word hypocrite.

A common definition of the word hypocrite is as follows: 1: a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion. 2: a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs.

Sadly, because the Qur’an claims to be the infallible words of God that are to be unwaveringly believed and practiced by devout Muslims (Qur’an 3:138, 6:114, 16:89), and since many moderate Muslims do not practice all of the Qur’anic dictates, orthodox Muslims have a valid reason to consider moderate Muslims to be hypocrites.

Qur’an 33:36: It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter, that they have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His messenger, has indeed strayed in plain error.

9:23: O believers! Do not take your parents and siblings as trusted allies if they choose disbelief over belief. And whoever of you does so, they are the true wrongdoers.

9:67 The hypocrites, both men and women, are all alike: they encourage what is evil, forbid what is good, and withhold what is in their hands. They neglected Allah, so He neglected them. Surely the hypocrites are the rebellious.

9:68 Allah has promised the hypocrites, both men and women, and the disbelievers an everlasting stay in the Fire of Hell—it is sufficient for them. Allah has condemned them, and they will suffer a never-ending punishment.

9:69 You hypocrites are like those disbelievers before you. They were far superior to you in might and more abundant in wealth and children. They enjoyed their share in this life. You have enjoyed your share, just as they did. And you have engaged in idle talk, just as they did. Their deeds have become void in this world and the Hereafter. And it is they who are the true losers.

In the Sunnah of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, we also find disobedient or hypocritical Muslims spoken of in derogatory terms:

Sahih Muslim Book 038, Hadith Number 6696: Ibn Umar reported Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) as saying: The similitude of a hypocrite is that of a sheep which roams endlessly between two flocks. She goes to one at one time and to the other at another time.

Sahih Muslim Book 038, Hadith Number 6694: Jabir reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) came back from a journey and as he was near Medina, there was such a violent gale that the mountain seemed to be pressed. Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: This wind has perhaps been made to blow for the death of a hypocrite, and as he reached Medina a notorious hypocrite from amongst the hypocrites had died.

Unfortunately, as we see from the Islamic texts themselves, it is the orthodox Muslims, such as the Taliban, who can quite justifiably call moderate Muslims hypocrites and treat them with disdain and worse. As the world has just witnessed in the late Summer of 2021, tens of thousands of moderate Muslims are desperately trying to escape Afghanistan as the entire country threatens to fall back into Sharia rule at the hands of the Taliban.

The world is fortunate that moderate Muslims do not follow all of the Qur’anic dictates – but failing to do so naturally makes the moderates vulnerable to charges of hypocrisy by the strict adherents of Sharia. Qur’anic verses such as the ones listed below are invariably noted to moderate Muslims by the hardliners, and the former tend to keep their heads down and their mouths shut for fear of being killed by their more devout Islamic brethren. Moderate Muslim movements are essentially inconsequential in terms of numbers and influence because the jihadis and their supporters know what is written in the Qur’an and are obedient to its teachings.

1:11: This is a Book whose verses are well perfected and then fully explained. It is from the One Who is All-Wise, All-Aware.

18:27: Recite what has been revealed to you from the Book of your Lord. None can change His Words, nor can you find any refuge besides Him.

It is high time that the world take a sobering look at, and reject, the many exceptionally harmful and brutal teachings found in the Qur’an and Muhammad’s Sunnah that comprise Islamic Sharia law that the Taliban and dozens of other jihad groups are attempting be means of both force of arms and political maneuvering to establish throughout the earth.

In conclusion, for the foreseeable future, Sharia-adherent Muslims will continue to torment and persecute moderate Muslims precisely because of what is written in the supposedly perfect Quran and Muhammad’s Sunnah. In other words, unfathomable amounts of misery and bloodshed with take place throughout the world for as long as Muslims continue to believe the claim that the Qur’an is perfect and of divine origin, and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah whose behavior is to be emulated (Qur’an 33:21).

There are some Jewish-Christian scholars and think tanks who are repeatedly making foul bids of portraying the Prophet of Islam as narcissist, and even comparing him with Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussain and Joseph Stalin without acknowledging the fact that Hitler himself was a Christian. It seems to me that these Jewish-Christian scholars and think tanks are being funded by some vested interest groups in destroying the atmosphere of interfaith harmony and making a global unity against terrorism and jihad.

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An internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-militancy journalist, research-scholar, counter-terrorism specialist, and editor of Blitz. Follow his on Twitter Salah_Shoaib

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