Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Moderate Muslim

We have spoken often about the myth of the moderate Muslim, a good citizen of an imaginary nation where he quietly practices his religion of peace. However, in the name of fairness, I will now give the floor to one Minh-Duc, former resident of communist Vietnam, now an American soldier; a veteran if the Iraq War. From his blog State of Flux:

Those who claim, that because there is no uproar of opposition against fundamentalism from Muslim, that there is no moderate Muslim, have never lived in an oppressed tyranny. This is the equivalence of the argument from the Left (made during the Cold War) that because there is no protest against Communism behind the Iron Curtain, the Worker Paradise is truly a paradise.

The reason moderate Muslims are so quiet is the same reason we victims of Communism were so quiet – fear. For 15 years, I lived under the tyranny of communism; and for those 15 years, I said nothing. My father said nothing, my neighbors said nothing, and my (then) countrymen said nothing. In fact, if a Western journalist asked me a question about the government, I would have nothing but glorious praise for the Communist government. Of course, I would not believe what I said. We had food shortage; our lives were miserable and oppressive. But miserable as we were, we preferred living in misery to death and imprisonment. My family and I were terrified, and being terrified is a forgivable sin.

The majority of Muslims are afraid – and they have every reason to be fearful....All the Western casualties combined are only a fraction in comparison to the Muslims killed in Algeria by the Armed Islamic Group (GIA). And Algeria is only a small front in the war...
Those who claim that there are no moderate Muslims must have never read the blog of Iraq the Model or the Big Pharoah. They of course never fought alongside the Peshmerga or the 206th Iraqi National Guard. By not separating between the extremists and the moderates, we will loose potential allies and pitch ourselves against the greater Islamic world. The oversimplified clash of civilization meme will be detrimental to our cause.

I will grant Minh-Duc his points; he has served in the Middle East and knows the peoples firsthand. So the moderate Muslim is not fictional; he/she is simply in hiding in fear for their lives. Very possible, considering the animosity between various Muslim factions. But -

There are countries where the moderate Muslim is free to speak out. In America, there are no vigilante groups of beards roaming the streets with switches enforcing sharia law. Why can't they speak out in America, they way so many groups do against oppression in their homelands? They would have police protection here; the law would be on their side. How about England? If hate-filled Muslim groups can get protection from the bobbies for their rallies; why can't the moderate Muslim, again protected by the law-enforcement apparatus of the British state, stand up and speak? Why not in Canada? Or France?

Although they could still face threats from within their own community, the moderate Muslim would have state protection of their freedom to speak out here; the police (and maybe even the FBI; they might have certain suspicions) would hunt down with due diligence any who threatened them.

And here's where I depart from our friend above - It would only take a little bit of courage to speak out here in the free West, to denounce acts that are taking place in the name of your religion, and to educate the population on what Islam really is (or is not). There are opportunities for new leaders to take hold; the media is frantically looking for "moderates" who do not turn out to be terror supporters five minutes later. If the so-called moderate Muslims do not take the opportunities offered by our freedoms of speech (with legal protections) to declare their opposition to Islamic radicals and fascists, then with silence they are giving the terrorists tactic support. The Islamofascists know that their "moderate" ranks are cowered, and will fall into line easily. That is one less front that they must fight on; making their war against us that much easier.


If the moderate Muslim does not speak up when/where he has the chance, he does not exist.

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