The Trilogy that Muffles the Moderate Muslims

Category: Life & Society Topics: Islamophobia, Muslims Values: Harmony Views: 5960
5960

The charges have been loud and vociferous, and sometimes even outlandish. "There is no such thing as moderate Muslims", "they are dangerous sleeper cells", "they are in cahoots with the extremists and as such are themselves a ticking bomb", and my personal favorite, "they have the sudden Jihadist syndrome", or perhaps the capacity to combust, as in spontaneous human combustion. 

Joseph Goebbels was right: "If you tell a lie long enough, it becomes the truth". 

After all, Goebbels was the father of modern day political disinformation, and Hitler's Minister of Enlightenment and Propaganda. 

Of course, many moderate Muslim organizations, scholars, and influential opinion leaders in the U.S. and throughout the West have loudly condemned terrorism and extremism in all their forms. Alas their statements are seldom repeated beyond their release dates. Furthermore, in numerous mosques around the U.S. and Europe, Khutbahs (Friday sermons) are routinely dedicated to remind worshipers that their faith is, as the Qur'an describes, the "Middle Ground Faith", and that extremism and fanaticism are nothing but aberrations to the Islamic norms and the tradition of the Prophet. 

Currently, all these efforts are effectively muffled by a special interest coalition, a particular trilogy of influence that finds it in their political best interest to promote an erroneous perception about Islam and moderate Muslims- often through distortion and false accusations.

This trilogy is made of power-wielding Neocons and their cronies who, as the gatekeepers of the powers that be, would alienate moderate Muslims such as singer and peace activist Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) and Professor Tariq Ramadan, bulwark any contacts between moderate organizations such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the administration, and implicate, and thus put them out of commission, almost all Muslim relief and charitable organizations. 

The second component is the evangelical Christian group commonly referred to as the "Patriot Pastors". These are super-wealthy charismatic ministers such as Rev. Pat Robertson, Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell, and Rod Parsley who mesmerize their memberships with selective moral rectitude and provoke them with Islamophobic rhetoric. 

Between these four, they referred to Islam as an "evil", "demonic", and "false religion". They referred to Muhammad as a "wild-eyed fanatic" and Muslims in general as people who committed "history's worst crimes" against humanity. Needless to say, their approach to religious understanding runs in counter-course with regard to the interfaith dialogue promoted by faith communities throughout the U.S. and Europe. 

The third component is the jingoistic wing of the media who staunchly sensationalizes and routinely recycles what could only be described as Goebbelian "truth" about moderate Muslims. They insist on collective culpability on any and all wrongs committed by a Muslim. Do a quick on-line search on the phrase "moderate Muslims" and the result would be over 2 million entries. The first 10 which are the most read tell the entire story per who is constantly writing about this topic and why! 
It is this trilogy's well-orchestrated, ubiquitous political harassment that rendered moderate Muslims ineffective and puts them on defensive mode- constantly looking over their shoulders and reacting to daily barrage of character assassination and outright provocation.

Only a few days ago, one such moderate Muslim, Dr. Salah Soltan, a renown scholar and a member of the North America and the European Fiqh Council, and Sunrise Academy, a Kindergarten to Seventh Grade Islamic school which this author has been sitting on its board for the past six years, were implicated with those all too familiar innuendoes as terror-promoting individual and institution. The accusatory article was written by a gentleman who claims being a "policy researcher"....and boasts to have only spent 3 hours to arrive at that conclusion. 

In post 9/11 political atmosphere, unfortunately, 3 hours are more than one needs in order to destroy reputations of Muslim individuals and reputation and endanger the lives of Muslim children, especially the girls who have to walk to bus stops wearing their hijabs.

At this stage, the strategy of this trilogy has proven successful. By and large, they intimidated, frustrated, and in some case, infuriated moderate Muslims into a paralyzing, self-defeating cynicism. Especially since the mainstream media have been callous and uninterested to level the playing-field or to provide moderate Muslims the necessary forums to disseminate their middle-ground ideology. 

The reality, however, is that this trilogy may be doing more harm than good. In their attempt to discredit Moderate Muslims they simply embolden the radical ones and may even push some moderates to radicalism. The Dubai Ports Deal is a prime example of how this narrow ideology was able to discredit Muslims, or in this case an entire nation. Blanket statements, fiery rhetoric, and disinformation was used to persuade the public to react out of fear. 

The overwhelming majority of Muslims are moderates. Many in this majority would not only find it in their interest to engage, counsel, and correct any of their brethren who might resort into extremism and fanaticism, but will find it as their obligation. 

The Prophet said "Support your brother when oppressed and he is being the oppressor". When the confused companion asked him for clarification by saying "I understand supporting my brother when he is the oppressed. How should I support him when my brother is the oppressor?" The Prophet, without any hesitation, answered: "You stop him from oppressing others". 

However, as a result of the aforementioned conditions, many moderate Muslims feel that they do not have the luxury of engaging and reforming others when they themselves are targets who have to constantly dodge for cover. 

Finally, reconciliation between Islam and the West is practically impossible without the spiritual and intellectual influence of the moderate Muslims - something that may never come to fruition so long as the said trilogy continues to sabotage such effort. 

In recent months, some independent-minded people around the world have been indicating that they have awakened to the daunting reality that they were riding on an ideological runaway train into Armageddon. They started speaking, though less authoritatively.

Abukar Arman is a freelance writers who is also a council member of the Interfaith Association of Central Ohio


  Category: Life & Society
  Topics: Islamophobia, Muslims  Values: Harmony
Views: 5960

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Older Comments:
SONYA WELCH FROM US said:
As an American citizen and a muslim living in Texas, all I know is that I must have 7 or 8 children, Inshahallah. My daughters wait at the bus stop wearing Hijabs and they are taking selfdefence classes. My sons will be wearing the Koofi to their public school. I work for a major US airline and pray in front of people at work in my abaya and hijab. Each one of my children will have 7 to 8 children, Inshallah. Within a few decades I will multiply myself into a little group of muslims, Inshallah. As the mainstream population of the US is becoming homosexual, drug addics, divorsed or broken families, consumer-producer machines, and at the very success, parents that may want 1 or 2 children if having dogs as pets is not fulfilling enough. I must teach my children to appreciate the Earth, the comfort and nourishment that they get. Help themselves and others. And mostly thank God for not making them into an animal or a rock. All this business of media base negative image and moderate or extreme muslim analysis is just a waste of time for I must be productive in reaching my goal.
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HUDD FROM CANADA said:
Sirius and Bruce,you are two non-Muslims that got my sympathy exactly for the fact that you try to be fair.This statement doesn't mean that I was fair myself.We all try.Difference is that some of the non-Muslims come on this website with an agenda.Therefore those people would not listen to reason and would not see the mistakes of their governments.I thank you both for being honest.It pains me tremeandously that ancient civilizations such as that of Iraq is brought to rumbles.I cried when USA carpet bombed Afghanistan,especially when OBL escaped,how many innocent people died there?We will never know. Who counted them?Afghanistan fought for us the mighty Russians and won!There country was in ruins.What did we do?We turned the ruins into dust.This is the way we helped a nation that won the war for us,saving us of heavy casualties? Right after the Russians pulled out of Afghanistan USA turned their back on the mujahideens.If Israel would have won a war for USA,Israel would have been immortalized in monuments all over USA!This is what I detest. And because the mujahideen were left alone their trust and expectations in an American friendship vanished being replaced with fundamentalism and hate toward the West.They were not angels,they were humans and humans have feelings and judgement or misjudement.The onus was on USA to take care of Afghanistan after the Russian war as they took care of Germany and Japan. 9/11 would have never happen and Afghanistan would have been a prosperous Islamic democracy,the envy of the Muslim world.It seems that if a nation is Muslim is automatically considered the enamy by USA and treated with suspicion and arrogance.
Sirius this is not a terrorism created by religious fanatism. Terrorism in ME is because the occupation and American intervention on Israel's behalf and insomuch that US interests are jeoperdized for Israel.This cannot be comprehended by the Muslims.Imagine the oposit. US being the friend of over 1 billion Muslims! Jackpot!
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BRUCE FROM US said:
(I'm not sure is got through the first time so I am resending it.)

Hudd,

I appreciate your last post and accept your apology. My "nevermind" however, had nothing to do with me being offended or having my feelings hurt. Rather, was in realizing the futility of trying to have a conversation with someone whose comments were too filled with venom to make rational sense.

I understand you have oppositions to US foreign policy over the years. I too, disagree with many of their policies. If I disagree with these policies, it is my responsibility to work to change them. If you disagree with those policies then expressing your views to the American public in a persuasive way can change public opinion. American politicians are dependent and therefore sensitive to this public opinion.

Your hurling of insults and characterization of Americans as mindless, brainwashed, idiots following an evil government does harm to both your political and your religious goals by:

1) Alienating Americans such as myself who have an open enough mind to visit this website and who could actually be persuaded into being an ally, given a cogent and respectful argument.
2) Giving the true neocons enough ammunition to petrify their already firm views on Islam, Muslims in general, and the ME.
3) Giving the radical suicidal bombers enough encouragement to take that last step to blow themselves as well as any innocent bystanders into a fine red mist.
4) Promoting the "us vs. them" mentality that hardens positions and increases likelihood of conflict.
5) Nullifying your criticism of Pat Robertson and their ilk by making some of their comments tame and responsible by comparison.
6) Use of hate speech promotes hate and does nothing to further understanding.

I apologize for making assumptions about your faith; your faith is between you and your creator. It wouldn't hurt to use a paraphrase of an over used Christian phrase, "What Would the Prophet Do?"

Pe
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SIRIUS FROM FINLAND said:
Yes, Hudd, there are times when we have to chritisize "our own people" too. It possibly doesn't bring us many new friends, but that's a sidestory. Maintaining the inner coherence is important. There's no way looking other way when evil is promoted in the name of one's religion. And, as we all know, there are problematic people/actions in every camp. I'm getting a bit bored with using GWB&co. as an example. Unfortunately, there are many others too.
I sense this coherence of inner ideals in you, Hudd, and that's why you get my respect. Even more so after I've found out that you've dropped using too fiery language. You've been patient with "the naughty kids" too, which clearly mounts you over them.
Peace.
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HUDD FROM CANADA said:
Dear Bruce, I'm sorry for causing you distress with my deliberately blunt one-sided comment. My intention was to make you see the other side of the fence. Imagine how Muslims feel, especially North American, to be associated with everything negative, terroristic and backwood. Everything Muslims contributed to civilization is forgotten, belittled and marginalized.
It wouldn't be honest from my side to deny the tremendous contribution of America to sciences, art and human development in general. But like a child USA acts irationally driven by passions and biases. My intention is not to bash USA, that would be revenge on USA's planned Islamophobic movement. I just need a sense of balance, and the balance is tilted intentionally in the disfavour of the Muslims in general. Muslims are not perfect, nobody's perfect, not even the Jews. However, today the Muslims are those that are oppressed and discriminatorily targeted. USA is the Empire and she doesn't do good. You know what happened to early empires regardless of their humanity. When they corrupted the truth they crumbled down.
Again, my intention is not to hurt your feelings but rather to awake you.
Peace!
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HUDD FROM CANADA said:
Dear Sirius and Mohd. Good Gracious, Sirius, you caught it right on, the booboo Mohd did. I thank you for it. Besides of giving a morbid tint to his comment Mohd has also a humorous side to it. I don't know, but when I read your comment Sirius I couldn't stop laughing over Mohd's comment. If you don't point it out surely it would have passed un-noticed. With all due respect to your opinion Mohd, I'm afraid Sirius has a well defined point. Hoever, I believe that Mohd's comment came out like this either because he lost himself in the translation or plain ignorance of what he tried to quote. Let me chew on your comment first Sirius:
You have rightly pointed it out, Mohd's comment appears to be racist and downright fascist, exclusive of anybody who wasn't Muslim. This is not what Quran teaches. Beging your pardon, Sirius, when you refer to Muhammad the prophet, mention him as such, or if out of personal convictions you don't feel confortable with his title, I respect your right to your opinion. Anyway, you have to point him out as Muhammad we all know, otherwise there are millions of Muhammad's you could refer to if you mentioned just Muhammad. You could say, the Quranic Muhammad, or the Meccan Muhammad or something signaling the person you talk about(in case you didn't want to mention him as a prophet). Otherwise your comment is warranted and truly worth of notice. Definitely, prophet Muhammad,pbuh,didn't mean it that way therfore I will rectify Mohd's comment. In his first paragraph, Mohd is paraphrasing a passage from the Quran with possible interpretations or imputs of the local mulas. The Quran says this: "Do not take Christians and Jews as your advisors." As a flip of this statement, which Christian or Jewish entity has other than Christian or Jewish advisors? Does the Pope have a Muslim or Hindu advisor? Does Ehud Omert have Muslim advisors? Thus the idea of this passage is that one must find solutions within the faith, otherwise the faith might adultarate.
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BRUCE FROM US said:
Hudd,

Nevermind
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SIRIUS FROM FINLAND said:
Mohd Haneef Yusoff:"As Muslims, we must never adhere to any comments, suggestions and proposal by non-Muslims. How could we equate us, the chosen people of Allah s.w.t and the them, the rejects i.e Allah s.w.t have not chosen them to say lailah hailallah?"
As long as I can see to the future there shall always be "US" and "THE OTHERS". I think what you suggest here is to nullify "the others". That sure is a steep slope down to serious problems. Would you really suggest something like that to muslim minorities living among "the others"? Would you like to hear something equally arrogant like "don't bother about the infidel muslims" from our side? Man, we got to listen to each others. If we don't, KABOOOOM comes close. Is that your goal? The consept of chosen people is hot stuff. For many people it gives rise to baseless hybris and arrogance. Even I can see that Muhammad sure didn't mean that.
Peace, and hopefully beyond the morn.
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HUDD FROM CANADA said:
Bruce my fellow North American, cut the bull, will you? You are exhibiting everything you acused me of. You just paraded your hypocracy and double standards attitude, so particular to a certain bracket of the population. You are no master race Bruce and your government is one of the most evil governments known to man in its entire history. You can't hide facts, mister, USA is a criminal in the eye of humanity, a vicious killer of mankind, but too strong to be justly brought to the tribunal in Hague and be judeged for crimes against humanity. I don't hate your country, I despise it and loathe it and feel sorry for its brainwashed and mentally programed citizens. Whoever woke up from that trance, like Neo in the Matrix, became a Muslim, thus the fastest growing religion in the New World. We are coming my friend, we are already here and the time of revelation is nigh!

Let me answer your cacophonous dissertation for a change:
You are coward, Bruce, you don't need to admit it to me, you know it. If you were brave you would stand up for the truth even though it heart your interests. From my comments you realize that I'm not afraid of either US or Canadian governments, I don't value them as much as didly squat, especially this Conservative Canadian government with this idiot as prime minister. H.A. is not another of my pseudonims, dude, I always use Hudd, therefore you might have seen: Hudd d'Alhamd, Hudd d'Aelia, Hudd d'Alaxa. Your incoherent speculations and less than intelligent asumptions don't make you a gentleman either, pal.
Leave bigotry out of it or I'll be forced to really prove to you who was the bigot. It goes without saying, US and the West is an ugly gang of selfish bastards that rule the world and take advantage over the weaker. I'm ashamed to be a Westerner and deplore humanity for allowing us to do to others what we wouldn't want them to do to us. Since everything in our Western culture is despicable, I adopt all cultures out there in the open.
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NAZIM H. FROM US said:
A good article and well argued about the unholy alliance of the: 1) Neocons 2) Southern Baptist Protestants 3) Other Israeli-firsters who place the Jewish terrorist state interest above that of the US.

Now they are pushing for a war with Iran on behalf of Israel. Eerily reminicient of the Iraqi invasion...wake up people!!!
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BRUCE FROM US said:
Hudd,

My comment was about you but not directed at you. This was not because I was being cowardly, as I have had open discussions with you in the past and am now, but was addressing "moderate Muslims" who tacitly agree with your postings by their silence. I assume that H.A. from Yathrib is one of your pseudonyms since H.A.'s comments are very similar to yours in style and content without your trace of tact and restraint. If this is true and even if it is not (and I apologize) it would seem more appropriate if someone else would decide whether we are gentlemen or not.

My disagreement with you is not in your content, as you have a right to your opinion, but more your willingness to lump all westerners (does this include you? Me? How do you know?) into a big pool of ugliness to hate. Why would you assume that I think that the only good Muslim is a dead one? Is this something you deduced from my postings or is this a product of your own bigotry?

What do I know about Islam? - Probably more than the suicide bombers. Enough to know that there are things that I can learn from the Muslim faithful. Enough to know that the Prophet would not have written some of the posts you have written. Enough to know that your faith has not put you at peace with yourself.

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HALA FROM USA said:
I think every muslim person can be an image about islam, either good image or bad image, I hope muslims all over the world give good images about their TRUE religion. what I agreed on most in the articl is the saying that "if u tell a lie for a long time, it becomes the truth". I hope Allah help reveal the truth.
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HALA FROM USA said:
muslims nowadays are divided into 2 parts, ignorant muslims, who think making riets and burning embassies is defence of the Prophet "MPBUH", and moderate muslims who media tries to show that they do not exist. the radicals are not even muslims, they kill innocent people in the name of islam and Allah, they harm muslims more than they harm any other nation. The problem with the majority of muslims in the middle east is that they lack knowledge about their own religion and their own book. May Allah help us in these hard times. wassalam
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ADAM IBRAHIM MUHAMMAD FROM NIGERIA said:
Poor Abubakr, from the few previous comments except for one i guess you can see how mistaken u are. The fact of the matter is that neither the muslims nor the antagonists will ever appreciate what u preached. The title of the article is sickning and coming from a muslim (i presume) for that matter. May Allah save us. BUT REMEMBER if u are lookin for 'izzah hold on fast to Allah, cos He got them all!
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IMRAN said:
The author and other 'Moderate muslims' have really choosen a very appropriate name for themselves. Those who have submmitted to ALLAH BUT IN MODERATION. While ALLAH AZZA WAJAL says to the believers "UDKULU FIS SILMI KAFFA"- ENTER ISLAM OR ENTER INTO SUBMISSION COMPLETELY. You moderates can run after getting yourselfs respected, as much as you want. ALLAH is MOIZZ
(giver of respect) and WALLAHI the SHAHEEDs are resting under ALLAHs THRONE and that is the real respect. And verily the muqarraboon (persons very close to ALLAH) are very few, while "the overwhelming majority of Muslims are moderates".
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HUDD FROM CANADA said:
Hello Bruce. Don't sneak on me brother, if you have a comment envolving my person do it up front like a gentleman. I too follow your comments and my thoughts to you are much more positive. I do agree in principle with your latest comments, some of them are really pieces of intelligent talk. However, although I agree with you in principle, I disagree on the practicle side and on the fact that you take a very complex situation in a very simplistic way. This makes me understand that you hold Muslims in little esteem, unless they share in to the West's mentality and interests. Bruce Muslims can't do that. When a Westerner shares into the opinions of the Muslims he is blasphemed and marginalized that he either repents and then apologizes to the Jews and the American people or he is 'compelled' to accept Islam. Note that compelled was set in inverted commas! Likewise, what means a good Muslim for you, aside of being dead? A Muslim that would advocate for the establishment of Israel in the biblical frontiers and thus encourage the vacating of the land by so called Palestinians? Would a good Muslim denounce the Palestinian struggle for statehood and national identity as a terroristic activity? Would a good Muslim support Israel's assassination missions as peaceful means of containing threat? Would a good Muslim hail Israel as the single democracy and master nation in the Middle East? Would a good Muslim praise the Israelis for their efforts of stealing and dispossessing indigenious Palestinians of their land in order for new settlements to be built? Would a good Muslim enroll in either IDF or US army to fight Muslims struggling to rid their country of foreign occupation? What would be a good Muslim for you Bruce aside of being a dead 0one?
I lambaste those offering alternative views of the world? I lambaste those that advocate oppression of the Muslims and the anihilation of the Islamic Umah! I lambaste those that try to justify the illegal and vicious war in Iraq.
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SALEEM FROM USA said:
4 american muslims there is no need to clearify urself infront of other US americans.

Native americans tried and failed and still choose life of iolation and poverty in many usa reservations.

African americans choose not to trust govt. / whiteman etc and stay oin their neighbourhoods. which wee originally made for slavery.

mexicans in southern states still hate white americans.

american muslims you are just newst member in the club.

everyone knows waz goin on.

no worries its a way of life in usa.

chao.....
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TOMMY D said:
Gee blaming others again, what a slack response in a time where leadership is needed.

By the way Cat Stevens has supposedly funded Hamas, so that doesn't make him a moderate in the eyes of the West. Same goes for Soltan, and Ramadan neither are moderates.

If the author thinks these people are moderates he has proven that there is no possible dialogue.

As moderates I would suggest Irshad Manji or Salman Rushdie. With these two individuals change is indeed possible.

CAIR, well with the news that just came out, we all know now the true nature of this beast. In 2003 Senator Charles Schumer said "we know [CAIR] has ties to terrorism".

Moderate Muslims should start a new association that is free of ties with terrorism.
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GOBNAIT FROM USA said:
If Dr. Soltan is a moderate Muslim, we're in trouble. He's issued a fatwa that Muslim American soldiers should not take up arms against Muslims in Afghanistan. (Just what Muslim American soldiers don't need - a reason to doubt their loyalties in the armed forces.) He advised a Muslim American woman that it was OK for her Egyptian husband to take a second wife. Actaully no, that's bigamy in the US and it's against the law, Dr. Soltan. He advises women that they can't leave the house without their husband's permission. He supports Palestinian suicide bombing. This is your idea of a moderate Muslim?
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SKH FROM USA said:

This article says more about the grovelling and slave minded nature of western-defined "moderate" Muslims than it does about those who are allegedly stereotyping them. For nowhere in the article is the definition of a "moderate" v. "extremist" made clear nor of where the dividing line is.

I believe it was Malcolm X who once said that the
"the only way a so-called 'moderate' makes any progress is due to the efforts of an extremist"
He said this in regards to King and his associates in the so-called "civil rights" organizations.

secondly, a simple reading of the following ayah should suffice:

"O ye who believe! Take not into your intimacy those outside your ranks: They will not fail to corrupt you. They only desire your ruin:
Rank hatred has already appeared from their mouths: What their hearts conceal is far worse. We have made plain to you the Signs, if you have wisdom."
[Surah Al-E-Imran:v.118 (translation Abdullah Yusuf Ali)]
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BASHAR SALEH FROM KOLKATA, INDIA said:
It is all Shaitan's design and creations. The time has not come yet for final judgement.
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MOHD HANEEF YUSOFF FROM MALAYSIA said:
As Muslims, we must never adhere to any comments, suggestions and proposal by non-Muslims. How could we equate us, the chosen people of Allah s.w.t and the them, the rejects i.e Allah s.w.t have not chosen them to say lailah hailallah?

In the Quran, Allah s.w.t described human into four categories: mukmin, muslim, munafiq and musyriqin. The highest esteem is the mukmin and all commandments and promises of Allah s.w.t are for the mukmins. Yes, there is no such thing as moderate muslims. We are either a mukmin, a muslim, a munafiq or a musyriqin.

Those are from Allah s.w.t. Must we question Allah s.w.t?

TQ
Hj Haneef
Malaysia
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ROMESH CHANDER FROM USA said:
It is all a question of perception. Emotions play a stronger part in forming opinions than facts. Nobody in the general public (muslim & non-muslim) is a scholar. Statements don't mean much. Actions speak louder than words.

All good deeds of many are nullified by the (mis) deeds of a few (or of even one single person or event).

So, rather than complaining, control the actions of the people, if you want to have any understanding among others.

Actions speak louder than words. And that is the way life is.
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BRUCE FROM US said:
There is some truth to Mr. Arman's article. The problem is that it is a quartet not a trilogy. The fourth member is the Islamic version of the Conservative Fundamentalist Christians who through their own rhetoric keep feeding the other three with fodder for their cannons. They use the same techniques as their Christian counterparts by dismissing a moderate comment (such as not condemning the West) as being un-Islamic. Criticism from within is always more effective than from without. By their very nature moderates are more open to opinions of others and are thus more affected by them than vice versa.

I have been reading Hudd's (and others) comments on this website for more than a year and have watched him lambaste those who present alternatives to his view of the world. I keep waiting for the moderate Muslims to offer some advice to help him with his distorted faith. By letting these comments stand, one can assume a) that most agree with him, or b) most are afraid to confront and/or counsel him. Neither position promotes the moderate cause.

By placing the blame on external factors, the author can sit back and rail against the west instead of taking responsibility for things over which he has control.

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