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Of Moderates and Mu’tazilites: How Islam Wins

It’s high time we awakened from the dream that Islamic moderates will save the day.

by
David Solway

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June 24, 2013 - 12:00 am
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In an important article for FrontPage Magazine, “recovered” Muslim Bosch Fawstin acknowledges that “Muslims who take Islam seriously are at war with us and Muslims who don’t aren’t. But,” he continues, “that doesn’t mean we should consider these reluctant Muslims allies against Jihad…they give the enemy cover..indifferen[t] about the evil being committed in the name of their religion…prov[ing] in their silence and inaction against jihad that they are not on our side either.” Whether they know it or not, or whether they are merely indifferent to the activities of the “radical” wing of the religion they profess, or whether some — a very few — are doctrinally committed to the reinterpretation of the canonical literature, “moderates” in their adherence to traditional dogma or even in their obliviousness to the axioms of Islamic orthodoxy are the sine qua non for the perpetuation of Islam as understood and pursued by those who would subjugate the liberal West to their totalitarian creed. And the latter’s understanding of the faith is correct, as David Hayden methodically shows in his masterful Muhammad and the Birth of Islamic Supremacism, a must-read for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Islam is jihad. There is nothing moderate about it.

We might say, metaphorically, that “moderate” Muslims resemble the innocent and unwitting carriers of a deadly virus. They have not deliberately caused the epidemic of Jihaditis from which millions of their fellows suffer, but they allow it to spread unchecked if they do not recognize the affliction and seek appropriate treatment. For Islam itself is the pretext and warrant for both overt violence against and covert subversion of Western cultural and institutional life, and there is no Islam without the sustaining habitat provided by the moderates. It is in this sense that moderation is complicit with extremism, the former supplying the empirical ground in which the latter can take root. The one is dependent on the other for its viability, substance, and effect. Put plainly, there is no jihadi violence (al-Qaeda, etc.) or internal sabotage (Muslim Brotherhood) without Islam, and there is no Islam without the enveloping milieu afforded by the vast community of believers, nominal or otherwise. “The nature of the problem,” writes British lawyer Gavin Boby, who directs the Law and Freedom Foundation, “may be doctrine rather than people, but the harsh fact is that doctrines are sustained by people” (personal communication). The logic is unassailable; regrettably, “moderate” Muslims are impervious to it.

There is a temptation to regard “moderate” Muslims of a special stamp — namely those whom Fawstin calls the “very rare Muslim[s] who help us against Jihad” — as contemporary Mu’tazilites and heroes of a reforming faith, who see themselves as allies of the democratic West. The Mu’tazilites were the eighth-and-ninth century sect thought to have struggled for the primacy of reason, freedom of the will, and the value of the individual, and their legacy has been revived by certain Islamic philosophers.  The Iranian scholarly dissident Abdolkarim Soroush, for example, who has been called the Martin Luther of Islam, describes himself as a “Neo-Mu’tazilite,” stressing that “the rationality of their school is extremely valuable” and can “bring new gains [in] using tradition and…extricating ourselves from tradition.”

However, Andy Bostom, erudite scholar of Islam and respected friend, has taken issue with this characterization. The Mu’tazilites, for all their relatively advanced thinking, were a truly nasty bunch and acted as a mihna or an Islamic inquisition against their opponents. Citing the doyen of Islamic studies Ignaz Goldziher, Bostom writes “the Mu’tazilites’ own orthodoxy was accompanied by fanatical intolerance” and “advocated jihad in all realms where their doctrine was not ascendant” (Sharia versus Freedom, Chapter 30, “Mutazilite Fantasies,” pp. 383-389).

It is tempting to see the minim of Islamic reformers as the Mu’tazilites of our time. But Bostom’s research reminds us that in the history of Islam, even the so-called enlightened reformers were zealous and bloody-minded — a fact that we should keep in mind in our search for Muslim confederates today. Perhaps more to the point, such “enlightened” Muslims, even if they are, or appear, comparatively benign and staunch votaries of reason, are acting against their own religion, repudiating aspects of the faith they find troubling or unacceptable yet nonetheless maintaining its larger dimensions intact. They do not speak for authentic Islam but, gored on the horn of a unicorn, they lobby for a figment of the same name that does not and cannot exist. As Fawstin writes, “Islam — not any alleged deviant form of it — means misogyny, censorship, anti-Semitism, homophobia, wife-beatings, beheadings, honor killings, pedophilia/child marriages, murdering infidels, etc.”  Daniel Pipes, founder of the Middle East Forum, concurs, at least in part, listing such “characteristically Muslim crimes” as gruesome murders, honor killings, female genital mutilation and slave holding as “among Islam’s contributions to the lands of immigration.”

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Top Rated Comments   
Art Chance, Stop stealing my comments. MBY
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
As I and others have said before here: a radical Muslim wants to kill us, a moderate Muslim wants the radical Muslims to kill us.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Repeat after me - there is NO moderate Islam, though some Muslims are moderate. And the fact that Islam - their religious/political doctrine - condones this and that barbarism, then pigs will fly before "moderates" come to the rescue - http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/07/13/islam-blood-a-groundbreaking-policy-paper-contained-herein-the-world-stands-on-a-precipice-commentary-by-adina-kutnicki-109/

Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (28)
All Comments   (28)
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How's this for Muslim Moderation?"

"Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them." Koran 2:191
"Make war on the infidels living in your neighborhood." Koran 9:123
"When opportunity arises, kill the infidels wherever you catch them." Koran 9:5
"Any religion other than Islam is not acceptable." Koran 3:85
"The Jews and the Christians are perverts; fight them."... Koran 9:30
"Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticize Islam" Koran 5:33
"Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire, hooked iron rods, boiling water; melt their skin and bellies." Koran 22:19
"The unbelievers are stupid; urge the Muslims to fight them." Koran 8:65
"Muslims must not take the infidels as friends." Koran 3:28
"Terrorize and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Qur'an." Koran 8:12
"Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the infidels." Koran 8:60
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
A moderate branch of Islam that sought to "reform" Islam so it was more acceptable to Western cowards has never existed anywhere but in the imagination of Western liberals who live in a serious state of arrogance and
denial.

Muslim clerics need to be forced to denounce terror attacks and then they always qualify it by proclaiming Muslim "victimhood" at the hands of infidels.

It is encouraging, if only a little, that we seldom now hear that Islam needs a "reformation like Christianity had in the 16th century" because more and more people are seeing that Jihad IS the Islamic reformation.

Note to the wishful thinkers who believe that hordes of not yet existent moderate Muslims are going to save us from their radical brothers: IT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN! EVER!

We in the West have military and economic power astronomically greater than theirs but they have a vision and they have passion. The elite "smart guys" on our side believe in a chimera.

We can win this war that they have declared on us but only if we choose to do so.

42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, the people who rule Moslem countries do NOT want to be subsumed under a future Ummah. Except for those who want to rule it.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Terry Prachett is a good fantasy writer as long as you don't take anything he says seriously. He does, however, have a good line that applies here:

"They're all bad people. But they're on different sides."
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Art Chance, Stop stealing my comments. MBY
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thatanyone who is given space on PJ Media is only now coming to this awareness is astounding. He works so hard to prove something known by any sentient being who studies the mechanics of war. Mommas may not hold a rifle but they raise the rifleman. The sew his uniform, raise his food, make his ammunition, buy bonds to support the war. There are no innocents even if they say they are in opposition, because they are an economic factor supporting the nation or religion they come from.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
It has only been the highly educated, and liberal idiots believing in the moderate Muslim that never existed.

What did Muhammad do according to a correct history book? He raided caravans, took slaves, murdered, and raped. That is who Muslims follow. That is their perfect man.

Thomas Jefferson put the muscle to the followers of Muhammad. It is the only thing Islam understands, or will understand. It is only a matter of time before those who follow Muhammad within these United States strike again at the Saxons. May G-d allow it to happen in Texas, or Oklahoma.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Q: What is a Muslim Moderate?

A: A Muslim who has run out of ammo.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
I was told that 300 years after Christ's death Mohammed forced his people to choose Ali from the 600 gods they were worshiping and he made himself the prophet. He even went so far to demand all the children be named Mohammed. I think he wanted to equal Abraham's decedents. Abraham was told he would have as many as the stars in the sky as decedents. Mohammed was doing at this time exactly what is taught today and that is cowardice terrorism. He was not a good guy and he did nothing for his people but force his will on them unlike Christ dieing for humanity and allowing us a choice.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Waylon: if you're going to opine on this issue, at least get in the chronological ballpark. Muhammad lived 600 years after Christ, not 300.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mr. Solway: I've written quite a bit on this topic (on FPM and HNN). My article "Sectsploitation" asserts (based on my research) that moderate Islam DOES exist--in some of the sects (Ahmadis; Isma'ili Shi`is; Ibadis; some Sufi orders). I define "moderate" as "non-literalist re interpreting the Qur'an." Here's the article link: http://hnn.us/node/83742
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
By the way--that's "re(garding) interpreting the Qur'an," NOT "re[-]interpreting. Apologies.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
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