Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Everyone in moderation

After reading Abu Sinan's post about the "Good Muslim", I was thinking about the current phrase "Moderate Muslim".

Extremism is a much disparaged quality. Couple that word with Islamic and you have the media "Threat to Society" standby for when they get bored of making up lies writing about immigrants.

Muslim minorities are warned against Islamic extremism, as if it were some kind of narcotic we might all get addicted to:
"It all started as a bit of fun.... saying things were Haram and calling Non-Muslims Kafir, I tried to stop but I couldn't....I just wanted more and more... soon Hizb Ut Tahrir wasn't hard core enough for me... then I met this guy who said I would go to Jannah guaranteed if...

To prevent this from happening, and to ensure we are tolerant, well-integrated members of society, our caring politicians advise us to be "Moderate Muslims", whatever one of those is.

A better idea of what this means could be found in the words of a moderate Muslim
"I'm a 'moderate' Muslim. I don't pray five times a day, I drink the odd glass of wine".*

So a 'moderate Muslim' is really a non-practicing or nominal Muslim. So it would appear that our religion has so much of a negative effect on secular society that it is better if we don't practice it.

But who believes in Moderate Muslims/Islam anyway? Google the term and the results consist of Daniel Pipes and his equally Islamophobic ilk, saying the simple fact is we Muslims are all bloodthirsty animals and thus could never be anything other then violent extremists.

The real question is why, as Muslims, should we be trying to please people who will never be pleased with us until we leave Islam.

Praying, fasting, reading the Qur'an, going to the masjid, growing a beard, following rules of Islamic dress. These things and others are very important to Muslims, but actually impact very little on other people.
If someone is offended or threatned by such actions, then surely it is them who needs to learn tolerance of others?

*Saira Khan, Marie Claire, August 2006


DA said...

Very good column. This topic has been on my mind a lot lately. Basically, as it's portrayed now, we're either swine munchin liberals who love America or the Taliban. There's no middle ground, or seperate mileau entirely!

Anonymous said...

"Praying, fasting, reading the Qur'an, going to the masjid, growing a beard, following rules of Islamic dress. These things and others are very important to Muslims, but actually impact very little on other people."

What about this:

Does this impact other people????????

Ali la Loca said...

I have a question -

In the part of this post where you talk about how extremism is portrayed as a dangerous addiction "it started out as innocent fun..."

What I am wondering about is the meaning of the word Kafir (Calling non-Muslims Kafir). The reason is that "kaffir" is an Afrikans word that is horribly offensive and still unfortunately used in Southern Africa to refer to black people.

Is there a semantic similarity, I wonder?

Safiya said...

Da - That's the problem with being in a minority, we're expected to all think alike.

Anonymous - Posting a link to an Islamophobic websites is bad enough, but your proliferate use of question marks pains me more.

Ali - The original meaning of the word Kafir was to describe someone who knew that Mohammed (pbuh) was the Messenger of God, but still chose to disbelieve.

This is different from someone who does not have that knowledge and is therefore, not a Muslim. Allah knows best.

However, sadly today it is too often used as term of abuse for Non-Muslims and even for other Muslim who are deemed to have left Islam.

I'm not sure how the word relates to the Afrikaans word.

Anonymous said...

“Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.” ~Qur’an:9:5

Tell me there is another way to interpret this.

Alina said...

Tollerance is something we all need to keep learning. You cannot be moderate in a belief, you can be moderate in political, military and social effects of your belief. You can choose not to turn it in an open purpose to kill, opress and discriminate.

Tell me, anonymous, is't that what we Christians were supposed to do while preparing for the Crusades???

I am sure we used similar words to jutify them as those you have posted here.

Safiya said...

Alina - You're a top girl ;)

Alina said...

Safiya, you have no idea what your last statement did to my ego! :D

Anonymous said...


Why do you assume I'm christian? I'm not. And if the bible has statements justifying the crusades then it's wrong.

Hajar said...

Mash Allah,
Thanks for sharing this beautiful post!