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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and Moderate Muslims

A very interesting article from the editor of American Muslim Perspective webzine, Abdus Sattar Ghazali, that pretty much makes the case that moderate Muslims do not exist - although that was not quite his point.

His central thesis is this one. Can you spot the gaping flaw in logic?
Gary Ratner, executive director of the Congress' Western region office in Los Angeles, says his group believes support for Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state is central to the definition of a moderate. The definition Mr. Ranter implies that a moderate Muslim should support:

  • Israel's occupation of the Palestinian land.
  • Israel's occupation of the Syrian Golan Heights.
  • Israel's killing of unarmed Palestinian men, women and children.
  • Israel's right to imprison some 10,000 Palestinians.
  • Israel's right to imprison elected government of the Palestinians and their members of Parliament.
  • Israel's attack on civilian targets in Lebanon killing hundreds of innocent men, women and children.
  • Israel's sole right to have nuclear weapons in the Middle East.
  • Israel's right to defy all the UN Security Council resolutions while Arab and Muslim states must comply under pain of sanctions.
Really? Accepting Israel's right to exist means accepting everything Israel does? Someone needs to tell Europe!

Mr. Ghazali goes on to describe how the Muslim reformers that were honored by the American Jewish Congress are eminently unqualified to be called Muslim. I can see how he has problems with Salman Rushdie, Wafa Sultan and Nonie Darwish, who have all renounced their faith. But look at his arguments against the other two honorees:

Pakistan-born Tashbih Sayyed is editor of Pakistan Today weekly that is supported by a number of Jewish groups because Muslims declined to give ads when he published pro-Israeli and anti-Palestinian articles. Sayyed says it is debatable that Islam was spread by the sword and Prophet Muhammad's actions were divinely inspired.

India-born Salim Mansur is one of the leading members of Canadians Against Suicide Bombing (CASB). Mansur, a political science professor at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, argues that the Muslim world must stop blaming the West for all its own ailments, including poverty, illiteracy, injustice or extremism.

No, these cannot be called "moderate." To terror apologists like Ghalazi, a moderate is someone who wants the Middle East to either be Judenrein or have all Jews (and Christians) paying the jizya like good little dhimmis.

So he ends up proving his point quite well - any Muslim moderates are so far out of the mainstream of the Islamic world as to be considered lunatic fringe.

A notable correlation to his thesis is that Egyptian and Jordanian leaders who nominally recognize Israel, as well as Mahmoud Abbas, are also completely outside the pale of Islam. It would be interesting to hear how he would dig himself out of that hole - would he claim that they do not really recognize Israel and only said they did for political purposes, or would he say they are off-the-scales wackos whom most real Muslims regard as traitors?

I'd love to know his answer, because either way he ends up proving the point.