Somewhere on A1A...

Sunday, August 25, 2002

Moderate Islam Watch

Many of us have wondered where the voice of moderate Islam has been in condemning, or at least explaining what is different about "true Islam" and how those differences can make it possible ro Islam to be tolerant of other religions, of secular government, of the Rule of Law. Can "true Islam" coexist with Western civilization? I admit, I don't know if it is possible, but the more I learn, the more I doubt it.

Here's an English languarge Islamic site, In this article about Safeguarding the Solidarity of the Ummah the author seems to be calling for protecting the whole of Islam against any criticism from outside and not even considering a deviant faction within:

In the atmosphere generated post-September 11, some in the West have openly suggested that wars be instigated "not with Islam but within Islam." While the mainstream Islamists and general Muslim public do not have any intentions of an overt or covert war with the West, this suggestion indicates a sinister motive of entangling Muslims with each other, and inciting factionalism within the Islamic Ummah. It is critical that the responsible Islamic leaders put all their efforts together, and diligently work on ways and means to fortify the Islamic Ummah in order that it meets the responsibilities entrusted to it by the Lord Almighty.
Further in the article hw explains that unity of the Ummah is demanded by the Qu'ran
It is thus obvious that the greatness of this Ummah is contingent upon carrying out the great role for humankind that is assigned to it; and this could only be performed when it is united. Thus it is warned against discord, dissension and factionalism within itself. The Qur'an warns, "And do not enter into dispute with one another, lest you fail and your moral strength deserts you" (8:46). Furthermore, history of the followers of earlier prophets is repeatedly provided, pointing out grave lessons with dire warnings: that civilizations rise and fall, flourish and decay as a consequence of faith or disbelief and unity or disunity among its people. "And be not among those who ascribe divinity to any but God (or) among those who have broken the unity of their faith and have become sects, each group delighting in what they themselves believe and follow" (30:31-32). The Prophet is told with regard to "those who divide the unity of their faith and break up into sects" that "you have nothing to do with them" (6:159). Based on such Qur'anic injunctions, the Prophet variously emphasized the importance of unity, and sanctioned severe reprimands and punishments for those who deliberately attack the unity of Ummah.
I guess someone might find some reason for hope in this article, though I don't.

One thing that can be taken from the article is that we are not about to hear any Moderate Muslims criticize their Muslim brothers, for fear of "severe reprimands and punishments." If this analysis is correct, then the best we can hopoe for is tht "moderate Islam" will ignore the extreme Islamists. Not a lot ot feel good about is it?


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