Running our eyes across the Middle East and Africa, it seems like the world has been lit on fire – and the flame isn’t going to go out any time soon. A short overview of all the wars going on in the name of Islam can be found on this handy dandy map:
Taken from this article detailing the many conflicts centered on Islam around the world. But even the map misses a few. “Palestine,” anyone (oh, that’s right, since Jews are involved there, all the problems must be the fault of Israel — or so our modern anti-Semetic meme goes)? Or what about the problems in France and Britain with Muslim populations that have cropped up in recent years? Honor killings in Texas? What is fascinating about this situation is the studied surprise and befuddlement of our professional chattering classes (otherwise known as the mainstream media).
Why should the progressive left work so hard at ignoring Islamic atrocities? Why is the progressive wing of our culture so focused on finding anything — anything — to talk about that Islam’s role in all of this? The answer seems to lie in a war on reality itself. Even the concept that there are “moderate Muslims” has now come under attack as being a form of “Islamophobia,” or the fear of Muslims. As Nathan Lean says,
Brigitte Gabriel, for instance, told the Australian Jewish News in 2008, “Every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim,” meaning “moderates” must be only those who don’t practice their religion. … That’s the problem with this “moderate Muslim” nonsense: it empowers anti-Muslim activists by implying that the degree to which a Muslim digests their religious faith is indicative of their status as a potential terrorist. Thus, “moderately” subscribing to the teachings of the Quran is OK, but should they cross over into the world of daily prayers, Friday afternoons at the mosque, and, God forbid, Ramadan, they’re suddenly flirting with extremism. That way of thinking is predicated on the unfounded notion that pious religious orthodoxy necessarily entails Muslims behaving badly. –The New Republic
In other words, to simply point out the fact that the Qur’an, in its original text and intent, does, in fact, encourage the killing of those who do not subscribe to Islamic belief, is to be an Islamophobic. Whether or not there are countering sections of the Qur’an, and how those sections are handled in combination with the more deadly parts is not the question, apparently. Any attempt to separate those Muslims who have come to terms with the uglier parts of the Qur’an, and found their significance in something other than as current commandments to faithful followers of Allah, and those who have not, is, according to this view, simply hate.
What’s lost in the shuffle here is that Christianity an Judaism have both gone through just this sort of internal thinking. While not all Christians agree, at least the Dispensational camp of Christianity has come out with a reasonable set of answers as to why the commandments from the Tanach that resulted in death and destruction at Jericho doesn’t apply to Christians today.
Islam, on the other hand, isn’t allowed to pass through this phase of its thinking. Rather, there are only two camps: those who take Islam seriously, and those who are Islamophobic. Any doubt of the sincerity of any particular Muslim can be based on nothing less than either pure hate or racism.
It won’t do, of course. There are, at least, in general, two large groups of Muslims out there — those who take the more bloodthirsty parts of the Qur’an as current assignments from Allah, and those who don’t. To believe anything less is to assign those Muslims struggling with just this issue to the trash bin of history — to say that they do not exist, and never can. It is to lump in Friday prayers with the jihad of the sword, to impose on Islam itself a false unity that simply doesn’t exist.
No matter how much I disagree with Islamic theology, and no matter my conviction that Christianity is the only true explanation of God, and the Bible the only true revelation from God, I still side with, and cheer on, the Muslims who are struggling with these issues. That I recognize that such Muslims exists doesn’t make me hateful, or racist. It just means I can see the reality before me.
On the other hand, the left — in declaring the term “moderate Muslim” off limits — is warring with reality itself, and imposing a future onto Islam from outside that Islam, itself, should rightly reject. But then again — the progressive left has ever and always been at war with reality. Why should this effort to ban the “moderate Muslim” be any different?