Moghul insists that “Islamophobes” give short shrift to the fact that peaceful Muslims have a different interpretation of the Qur’an from that of the violent ones. That may well be, although the violent interpretations are far more mainstream than he lets on; in any case, the existence of the peaceful interpretations doesn’t cancel out the existence of the violent ones, just as Hamas-linked CAIR’s ad campaign that tries to sell the idea that jihad is helping your sixth grader with her homework and playing hopscotch with her when she’s done doesn’t do anything to address the inconvenient fact that a significant number of Muslims believe it involves warfare against and subjugation of infidels. The people who need to be convinced — the Muslims who believe in violent jihad — aren’t being addressed.
The common claim that the “Islamophobes” endorse the view of Islam of the “extremists” and ignore “moderate” versions ignores the deep traditional roots that offensive jihad for the subjugation of infidels has in Islam. Those who hold to the “extremist” view are actually quite mainstream. Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), a pioneering historian and philosopher, was not an “extremist” by anyone’s account, and yet he wrote that “in the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and (the obligation to) convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force.” In Islam, he added, the person in charge of religious affairs is concerned with “power politics,” because Islam is “under obligation to gain power over other nations.”
In modern times, Majid Khadduri, an Iraqi scholar of Islamic law, wrote this in his 1955 book War and Peace in the Law of Islam: “The Islamic state, whose principal function was to put God’s law into practice, sought to establish Islam as the dominant reigning ideology over the entire world….The jihad was therefore employed as an instrument for both the universalization of religion and the establishment of an imperial world state.” Was Khadduri, a scholar of international renown, an “Islamophobe” who was cravenly endorsing the “extremist” view of Islam in order to dehumanize Muslims? Come on.
But Moghul rejects any connection between the Qur’an and violence, asking, “Imagine how we’d react to the proposition that reading the Bible explains George W.’s war against Iraq?” Well, if “George W.” had said that the Bible explained his war in Iraq, we would be remiss if we not only refused to look in the Bible to try to understand what George was up to, but vilified those who did look in it as haters of George. But that is the situation we are in today: Islamic jihadists explain and justify their actions with reference to the Qur’an, but those who look in the Qur’an and Islamic teaching to try to understand them, and who call for reform and reevaluation of the teachings they use to justify their actions, are vilified and demonized as “Islamophobes.”
Then when we look at the “moderate” Muslim establishment in the U.S., we see Muslim Brotherhood ties, open cheer-leading for the murderers of Hamas, and the like. It does not, to say the least, inspire confidence.
Haroon Moghul could have really struck a blow against any actual “Islamophobia,” i.e., the things that really make people dislike Islam: the bombings, the beheadings, the murders by Allahu-akbaring hordes. Instead, he is enabling them, by doing all he can to destroy their opposition.
Image courtesy shutterstock / Marcio Jose Bastos Silva