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A Question Regarding Moderate Islam

January 26, 2011

We are willing to take questions from our readers.

“Are Moderate Muslims influenced by more Extreme Muslim groups within their communities?”

In the West we use the terms “Moderate Muslims” and “Extremist Muslims,” but these are not terms that Muslims use for themselves, unless they are in the West and talking to Westerners. (For example, the leaders of the mosque in Luton, England, where the suicide bomber who killed himself in Sweden last year worshipped, now denounce him as an “extremist.” See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11987552 ). But these are not terms that Muslims use in their homelands; the terms used in Muslim countries are “true believers” (mu’min) for what we call “extremists” and “traitors” (kafur) for what we call moderates.

 

Given many of the violent calls for purity of the faith, extremism in Islam often overpowers tolerant views.

Take as an example the Iraqi born, British-educated, suicide bomber, Taimour Al Abdally, who killed only himself in Sweden recently. In his own words, he was angry that Sweden supports the war in Afghanistan. So, in revenge, he said in a taped message, “Now your children, daughters and sisters will die like our brothers and sisters and children are dying.” He went on to specifically threaten Sweden for having soldiers in Afghanistan and for hosting “Lars Vilks the pig,” in reference to the controversial cartoonist who was responsible for one of the infamous Muhammad cartoons. A further subsequent claim was published on extremist websites from the Islamic State of Iraq, heralding Taimour as a mujahedeen (holy warrior). “See. http://www.hstoday.us/content/view/15757/152/.

 

“True believers” see themselves as the true followers of Mohammad’s Islam; moreover, “true believers” feel special intolerance towards the Muslims we call “moderates” who are, from the perspective of the true believers, traitors. While Christianity has gone through periods of intolerance, we have Christ to teach us to love one another, and to love our enemies. We have Christ who blesses the peacemakers. Not so our Muslim friends, who look to Muhammad, who took revenge against his enemies. Mohammad sanctioned the murder of a mother and a poetess, who wrote critically against him. Her newborn was also murdered. Mohammad congratulated the murderer for his service to Allah. See http://staringattheview.blogspot.com/2010/01/muslims-and-muhammad-and-asma-bint.html.

True Muslims who accept Mohammad as their leader, then, will excuse even murder of women and children in their cause to win against the dar al-harb (the house of war) until all the world is in the dar al-Islam (the house of Islam).

 

Murder is Muhammad’s way of winning. So is plunder (the name of a chapter in the Qur’an—the Anfal), revenge, and atrocity. As the Arab proverb says, “A stream cannot rise higher than its source.”

What I am saying is that in order to understand Islam from Mohammad’s viewpoint one has to give up the terms “moderate” and “extreme” and accept the terms “false believer” and “true believer.” The moderate Muslims who live in America and Europe have the great advantage of living their lives in peace and freedom, protected by a gospel-influenced culture whose laws guarantee “liberty and justice for all.” And we should say, “Welcome! Glad you are here.” But while these moderates are safe and protected, in Muslim countries they are at grave risk, for they have tried to change Mohammad’s Islam (note the persecution of the Mutazilites early on, and Pakistan’s mistreatment of the Ahmadi sect in more recent times). Moderates are guilty, the Muslim scholars say, of “bid’a” which means “innovation.” The True Believers have decided there can be no “Reformation” in Islam; there can only be a return to the teachings of God’s perfect man, Mohammad.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all who are weary, and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Learn of me, for I am gentle and meek.” So when we say that “Muslims need Jesus” what we mean is, that through faith in Jesus, Muslims can have peace with God. By the Holy Spirit they long to know God, and to glorify God.  And by reading the Bible, God’s word, they will love the Sermon on the Mount and weep for their sins. By reading the book of Romans they will know the true doctrines of God, that lead to Romans 12:

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Thanks for asking.

Bob Blincoe

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