Friday, November 26, 2004

The Voices of Moderate Islam

FrontPage magazine.com :: Moderate Muslims and Arabs Emerge from the Shadows by Cinnamon Stillwell.

LibertyFrontPage has a series of articles about moderate Muslims, real and imagined. The referenced article discusses several individuals and two orgnizations of note: the Free Muslim Coalition Against Terror, and the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. Both of these organizations, "are shaking the foundations of the American Islamic establishment. Not only do these groups renounce Islamic terrorism and the ideology that fuels it, they also express unconditional support for their country – America, that is."

These organizations deserve attention and support.

As Daniel Pipes points out, these are Muslims
who wish to live modern lives, unencumbered by burqas, fatwas and violent visions of jihad - are on the defensive and atomized. However eloquent, their individual voices cannot compete with the roar of militant Islam's determination, money (much of it from overseas) and violence. As a result, militant Islam, with its West-phobia and goal of world hegemony, dominates Islam in the West and appears to many to be the only kind of Islam.

But anti-Islamist Muslims not only exist; in the two years since 9/11, they have increasingly found their voice. They are a varied lot, sharing neither a single approach nor one agenda. Some are pious, some not, and others are freethinkers or atheists. Some are conservative, others liberal. They share only a hostility to the Wahhabi, Khomeini and other forms of militant Islam.

They are starting to produce books that challenge the Islamists' totalitarian vision. Abdelwahab Meddeb of the Sorbonne wrote the evocatively titled Malady of Islam, in which he compares militant Islam to Nazism. Akbar Ahmed of American University wrote Islam Under Siege, calling for Muslims to respect non-Muslims.

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