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Moderate Islam? - Comments

Barry Pearson's Avatar Comment 1 by Barry Pearson

Islam itself is not moderate.

The degree to which it is barbaric is often a matter of interpretation. (For example, there are disputes about how hard a Muslim man can beat his wife; whether he can draw blood, etc).

"Muslims" can be moderate according to how much of the fundamental texts of Islam they ignore, and how much of moderate external values they absorb. Although, strictly speaking, if they ignore any of the Koran they are not actually Muslims. How can they be when it is the true and eternal word of Allah?

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 13:34:19 UTC | #872603

jez999's Avatar Comment 2 by jez999

Moderate Islam does not exist. True (extreme) Islam exists, or pseudo-Islam exists. But real Islam can never be moderate.

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 13:44:23 UTC | #872607

inquisador's Avatar Comment 3 by inquisador

Islam is not moderate in nature. So if we use the phrase 'moderate Islam' to mean a peaceful tolerant kind of faith, then look out, as the devout believers may be waiting for their chance to assert the other kind of Islam, with holy books aplenty to brandish as their 'divine' authority.

The 'prayer-bump' or 'zebibah' as seen on the forehead of Jalil is not encouraging; seen as it is a proudly worn badge of great piety.

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 14:03:12 UTC | #872616

danconquer's Avatar Comment 4 by danconquer

Christianity is the official state supernaturalism for several European countries and has historically been the main source for legislation in them.

So, yes, it will hopefully mean the same thing in this instance: The convenient cherry-picking of the parts deemed compatible with the demands of a modern society, and the quiet dispensing or re-writing of inconvenient demands.

They will tie themselves up in some theological knots in the process, and I for one will be jolly grateful for it. What would people prefer? That the Libyans announce they are going to implement a hardline, literalist interpretation of the Koran?

I don't think it's particularly helpful when atheists join in with the likes of the Taliban in denouncing moderate forces as somehow "not proper muslims", just as I wouldn't condemn catholics who use condoms as "not proper christians". Every incident, however small, when people use their intellect to rationally overcome supernaturalist dogma is good and we should always encourage it, not seek to alienate people who, whether we like it or not, are not yet ready to feel as though they are abandoning their religious community.

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 14:10:17 UTC | #872620

Jay G's Avatar Comment 5 by Jay G

Watch almost any of Pat Condell's videos and you'll have your answers.

Personally, I would not want to live in a country where I could not have a beer after a long hard day at the office.

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 14:11:49 UTC | #872621

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 6 by Steve Zara

comment 3 by inquisador

Islam is not moderate in nature. So if we use the phrase 'moderate Islam' to mean a peaceful tolerant kind of faith, then look out, as the devout believers may be waiting for their chance to assert the other kind of Islam, with holy books aplenty to brandish as their 'divine' authority.

You can't use as evidence for the inability of Islam to be moderate your belief that moderates are just waiting for the chance not to be moderate. That's a combination of question begging and conspiracy theory :)

There are either relatively moderate Muslims or there are not. You can't make a case by insisting you can predict what the moderates will do.

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 14:27:30 UTC | #872627

inquisador's Avatar Comment 7 by inquisador

comment 6 by Steve Zara,

I am not saying that Islam is unable to be moderate, or that moderates are just waiting for the chance not to be moderate. Rather that there are Muslims who are sincerely representing a benign view of Islam, while other Muslims take a more literalist hardline view. Then there are those who lie in order to gain support. Think back to the Iranian revolution for instance, when the promised socialism gave way to a vicious hardline theocracy.

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 15:02:34 UTC | #872643

sanban's Avatar Comment 8 by sanban

I'd love to hear how moderate sharia can be. No, really. Will there be freedom of speech and of the press? What about equality under the law for women, minorities (includingLGBT and atheists)?

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 15:59:28 UTC | #872661

ZenDruid's Avatar Comment 9 by ZenDruid

I understand that the Sufi and Ahmadi sects are pacifist, and that the Ahmadi exiled themselves to Europe to avoid persecution.

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 16:46:14 UTC | #872691

TeraBrat's Avatar Comment 10 by TeraBrat

That article is disturbing but not surprising.

I suspect that Egypt will become a Sharia law based country as well.

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 17:15:37 UTC | #872715

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 11 by Neodarwinian

It means that these people are unclear on the concept of the modern democratic state. You do not base your state on any religion, moderate, or not. We in the US have enough trouble with keeping the religious ideologies out of government and we have an Establishment Clause.

This goes for any state with an official religion. You are unclear onj the concept of " modern democracy. "

Mon, 19 Sep 2011 19:39:23 UTC | #872777

Atheist Mike's Avatar Comment 12 by Atheist Mike

It is indeed a rather naive if not stupid idea. You can't have a free secular country if you put an emphasize from the start on a religion, moderate or not. It just makes it easier for fundamentalists to get power and turn the region into an extremist breeding ground (which it is already).

Tue, 20 Sep 2011 00:26:39 UTC | #872887

Premiseless's Avatar Comment 13 by Premiseless

Here we have a moderate fiction (?) claiming to rule the world of men? It's a non sequitur that doesn't really exist except insofar as it is able to be illusory and imaginative via deceptions, delusions and emotion mongerings. How one does that moderately is a pernicious self-protection mechanism from the outset that smacks of what it is already attempting per se, from the outset.

Nice (I'm kidding) carousel that non believers have already spotted on each revolution.

If there is one disease human brains are gifted, religion is it!

Tue, 20 Sep 2011 04:15:35 UTC | #872939

DavidXanaos's Avatar Comment 14 by DavidXanaos

I'm wondering how the public would react to the idea of a Moderate Nazi.

Tue, 20 Sep 2011 06:09:01 UTC | #872951

Barry Pearson's Avatar Comment 15 by Barry Pearson

Comment 4 by danconquer :

I don't think it's particularly helpful when atheists join in with the likes of the Taliban in denouncing moderate forces as somehow "not proper muslims", just as I wouldn't condemn catholics who use condoms as "not proper christians". Every incident, however small, when people use their intellect to rationally overcome supernaturalist dogma is good and we should always encourage it, not seek to alienate people who, whether we like it or not, are not yet ready to feel as though they are abandoning their religious community.

It is unreasonably judgmental to use the word "denouncing". Saying that "someone who doesn't follow everything in the Koran is not a proper Muslim" isn't a criticism from an atheist's point of view. It is a statement based on the nature of Islam.

If someone doesn't follow everything in the Koran, are they disagreeing with Allah, (Islam says the Koran is a recital via the Angel Gabriel of text created in heaven by Allah), or do they dispute the claim that the words are by Allah? (Or is there something else?)

Islam requires that the Koran is taken literally as the word of Allah in a way that Christianity doesn't claim the Bible is literally the word of God. The Koran (not Mohammad) is the way of accessing the word of Allah in the way that Jesus (not the Bible) was/is the way of accessing the word of God. Disputing the Koran is equivalent to disputing Jesus.

If we can't recognise that those people are not true Muslims according to Islam, we may have trouble seeing why there is a reaction against them, and why they may be afraid of people who do take things more literally.

Tue, 20 Sep 2011 10:20:22 UTC | #873018

ezrarez's Avatar Comment 16 by ezrarez

It seems to me that the vast majority of so-called "moderate Muslims" are not really moderate at all [Link to personal blog removed by moderator]

Tue, 20 Sep 2011 12:37:34 UTC | #873067

Jay G's Avatar Comment 17 by Jay G

Comment 14 by DavidXanaos :

I'm wondering how the public would react to the idea of a Moderate Nazi.

Why wonder? Just look at how the world treated Hitler between 1933 and 1939.

Tue, 20 Sep 2011 18:10:02 UTC | #873214

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 18 by Steve Zara

Comment 4 by danconquer

I don't think it's particularly helpful when atheists join in with the likes of the Taliban in denouncing moderate forces as somehow "not proper muslims", just as I wouldn't condemn catholics who use condoms as "not proper christians"

I'm now convinced that some people would much rather be right than helpful.

Tue, 20 Sep 2011 18:41:01 UTC | #873228

blitz442's Avatar Comment 19 by blitz442

Comment 18 by Steve Zara

I guess the thinking is that if we simply allow moderate Muslims to have their cake and eat it too, they will eventually take over Islam and push the radical, dangerous fundamentalists to the margins.

Following this, it is therefore a good idea to let moderate Muslims redefine Islam around their modern, secular values - the world will be much better for it.

Is it also a good idea to allow the religious to redefine science around their religious values? I don't think so.

So we will stay silent when a moderate Muslim defines Islam however they want to and inevitably lies in the process, but we will vociferously point out how wrong they are the minute they try to bend science to fit their religion.

Something tells me that it will be more effective in the long run to challenge them from the get-go on the inconsistency between their religion and 21st century values.

Tue, 20 Sep 2011 19:52:00 UTC | #873257

inquisador's Avatar Comment 20 by inquisador

Overheard on the street the other day:-

"Get away from me you moderate Muslim!

I denounce you, do you hear? Consider yourself thoroughly denounced!

What we want is more of those proper Muslims, like the Taliban, not wimpy moderate ones like you!"

(Nice man in turban shuffles away in shame)

Not in my universe. Well actually, not in my town or street I should say. At least as far as I know.

Seriously, I would never denounce any decent law-abiding person. But I do denounce Islam and believe we should all denounce those who act upon the rotten corrupt edicts of Mohammedan teachings when they call for killing, rape, mutilation and slavery, as they do. (see 'Boko Haram' for example)

There is no room for complacency. So many different parts of the world are dealing with local jihads in the form of soldiers of Allah ganging together to fight for Islam; hooking up with anyone who will listen and join up. Muslims everywhere, no matter how moderate, are vulnerable to the call for jihad. It comes straight from Allah as told by Gabriel to Mohammed, they say, and you can't lose. Great rewards are in store in the next life as well as this one. How can you refuse?

The problem of jihad is Islam, not moderate or radical, just plain old Islam.

Yes, there are some genuine moderate Muslims; people like Tarek Fatah. They are generally welcomed and lauded in the west. The problem is not so much the denunciation of such people as him, but the lauding of 'fake' moderates who use deceit to burrow their way into the establishment. People like Sir Iqbal Sacranie OBE

Tue, 20 Sep 2011 20:53:34 UTC | #873283

blitz442's Avatar Comment 21 by blitz442

Comment 20 by inquisador

How does one denounce radical Islam without stepping on the toes of the moderates?

You cannot categorically denounce faith; you must say things like "only the moderates show true faith".

Claiming that the radicals distort the teachings of their religion does not really work either; often the radical teachings of Islam are more rooted in the sacred scribblings than the moderate interpretations.

So how does one criticize radical Islam, especially from the atheist perspective, without lying?

Tue, 20 Sep 2011 21:05:15 UTC | #873287

inquisador's Avatar Comment 22 by inquisador

comment 21 by blitz442,

How does one denounce radical Islam without stepping on the toes of the moderates?

By making a careful distinction between Muslims who are true followers of their faith and therefore inclined to hatred of non-Muslims - and Muslims who disregard the teachings of Allah when they conflict with western law and custom, and are true friends of non-Muslims. By supporting the latter and guarding against the former, we make a claim for rightful respect and consideration for our culture and our right to protect it from those who would do us harm.

If that treads on anyones toes then perhaps they need to be trodden on.

Of course the issue is always going to be vexed by the great difficulty of guessing the true loyalties of 'Muslims' who by their own identification profess their hatred and intolerance of 'others', and who may or may not live up to that label.

Tue, 20 Sep 2011 21:34:35 UTC | #873300

crucialfictionofjesus's Avatar Comment 23 by crucialfictionofjesus

Just a really good OXYMORON

Thu, 29 Dec 2011 16:32:40 UTC | #903562