Where Are the Muslim Anti-Islamists? They’re the People Battling and Being Murdered by the Islamists
A reader asks: where are all these tens and even hundreds of millions of Muslim anti-Islamists?
I wrote an entire book about the liberals and moderates called The Long War for Freedom. There are a number of scholars who have written such books, as well as analogies of moderate Muslim writings. Oh, yes, and then there is every book and article written by non- and anti-Islamist Muslims over decades.
The problem today is that we are caught between two lies. The mainstream Western lie is that Islam is a religion of peace, full stop. There is nothing at all militant in its texts. A small fringe of extremists have misinterpreted it, or are even heretics. So all Muslims are moderates pretty much, either moderate moderates or moderate Islamists. And anyone who says otherwise is an Islamophobic racist.
That is a lie.
But then there are those — far smaller in number and lacking power in the mainstream media or universities but present in other places — who say Islam is the problem, full stop. It is inevitably militant, extremist, and violent. There is no such thing as political Islamism because all Muslims want Sharia dictatorships. So the radicals are proper representatives and there are few or no moderates at all. And anyone who says otherwise is a wimpy apologist sell-out.
And that’s a lie.
Let me once again define the difference between two moderate groups:
A) Muslims who are moderates are people whose religion is Islam but are not revolutionary Islamists. They might be Arab nationalists, or pro-democratic; they might be primarily loyal to identities as Turks, Kurds, Berbers, Iranians; or supporters of a communal-ethnic grouping like the Sunni Muslims of Lebanon, or many of the Muslims of both types in Iraq, or a variety of Muslims in the former Soviet republics and Russia itself who have national or communal identities. [Note: I don’t consider Alawites or Druze to be Muslims, but if you do then you can count them as anti-Islamist Muslims, too.]
And don’t forget all those Indian Muslims and Muslims in many countries who might support any one of many different parties or movements. There are Muslims who are left-wing, too. And then there are huge numbers of African Muslims who aren’t Islamists but have other loyalties.
In other words, lots of Muslims have their own political views. Remember, for example, that 60 percent of Tunisians voted for secular parties. In Turkey the Islamists had to disguise themselves, and there are so many opposed to them that if the rival parties ever got their act together they could toss them out of office. Even in Syria there are lots of liberal, moderate, or traditional Sunni Muslims. If we only helped those people rather than the Islamists (thanks to Obama policy and its funneling through Islamist Turkey and financing by Qatar and Saudi Arabia) the moderates might even win.