November 13, 2004

Where are the Islamic Moderates? All Around Us.

For some years now we have been hearing the clarion calls for the Islamic "Moderates" to speak out. This oft-repeated request has gone out from a wide-spectrum of voices here and abroad. But it would seem that the standard response is that "We hear very little from Islamic Moderates about Terrorism."

I think this is utterly wrong. I think we have been hearing a great deal from the "Islamic Moderates" over the last three years. In fact, we hear from them constantly.

The problem is not that we do not hear from the "Moderates," but with our current assumption of exactly what "Moderate" means. We've been, indeed, entirely too conservative in our understanding of "Islamic moderates."

In the brave new world of "Radical Islam," a conservative Muslim would be one who seeks to live in peace with those of other faiths, does not look for a global or even regional theocracy, and in general would just like to get on with life in a peaceful, diverse, tolerant society. And while it is true that there has not been a lot of speaking out from this group, there has still been some and we can assume it is not a total loss. Fear of Islamic moderates probably mutes an otherwise large segment of the Islamic population.

In contrast, an "Islamic Moderate" currently means those members of the Islamic faith committed to a regional caliphate and willing to use conventional terrorism to achieve these aims. This includes beheadings, mass murder, random bombing of civilian targets, infiltration of Iraq, Afghanistan, New York, Cleveland, etc. to kill Americans and other unbelievers with conventional arms and explosives. At the moment, these moderates are being extremely vocal and noisy in Iraq. This moderate group has been extremely vociferous in the past few years and, if the present is any guide, will continue to speak out with explosives, arms and manifestos until they either triumph or are eliminated.

Virtually silent at present, are the "Islamic Radicals" who seek to achieve a global caliphate through the use of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons to kill unbelievers wholesale. We hear them every so often in the current safe haven of Iran where plutonium futures are traded with the cheers of "Death to America." We hear less from the dispersed members of this cult with the exception of intermittent claims on Muslim websites that, yes, they have a nuclear bomb and they are going to use it.

Whether or not they actually have that bomb is open to question. What is not is their devotion to using it as soon as possible.

Under these conditions, it strikes me that as long as we are hearing from the "Islamic moderates' " through propaganda and through weapons we need not be too worried.

It is when these "moderate voices" fall silent that we need to look out for the big and booming voice of the Radical Islam. But by that time, it is my sad opinion we will be, once again, in a reactive mode.

Posted by Vanderleun at November 13, 2004 10:42 AM
Bookmark and Share