Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald, noting the soothing appearance of Islamic apologist Khaled Abou El Fadl to reassure Westerners that Islam doesn't really have a death penalty for apostasy, revisits the phenomenon of the moderate Muslim:
The phrase "moderate Muslim" should not be used unless it is clearly defined. I suggest that any Muslim who misleads non-Muslims about the central tenets of Islam -- whether or not he agrees with them -- is objectively furthering the Jihad by rendering non-Muslims unwary and keeping them in a state of naive trustingness that can only cause them harm. So that even if one does not oneself subscribe fully to orthodox Islam, if a "moderate Muslim" does not tell the truth about Islam, he furthers the Jihad. And in any case, his mere presence in the dar al-Harb swells the perceived political power of Muslims and increases security needs (which cost taxpayers mightily).
Also, there is always the possibility that a "moderate Muslim" who has not become an open enemy of traditional Islam -- in the manner, say, of Ibn Warraq -- will have children who, for whatever reason, may revert to Islam in its traditional, mainstream, highly dangerous-to-Infidels form. We have no way of detecting those who are the true believers in Islam, from those who are not. As such, we have no duty to continue to foster the growth of Muslim populations in the Infidel lands -- if, that is, we care about our own safety, and that of our own civilization. We are under no obligation to commit civilizational or other kinds of suicide.
There are many in Western Europe today who are now realizing that they have been misled by their own elites into permitting the large-scale entry of Muslims who are bearers of an ideology that requires them to be implacably hostile to the un-Believers, to regard the lands of dar al-Harb as Muslim by right, and to work, through the seemingly unopposed instruments of Da'wa and demography, to turn dar al-Harb into dar al-Islam.
The whole business of “moderate Muslims” comes up against three problems that need to be kept constantly in mind:
1. What is a “moderate Muslim”? What would constitute “moderation?” Would mere abstention from, or disapproval of, terrorism constitute enough “moderation” for you? It wouldn’t for me.
2. Assuming that such “moderate” Muslims exist -- that is, those to whom we think we can give that label, how do we determine, with what instruments, which Muslims are truly “moderate” and which ones are “immoderate” but pretending to be “moderate” so as to remain within our countries? How many are attempting to achieve their ends by manipulating and propagandizing among unwary, or willfully trusting, Infidels, especially some of those ministers and rabbis hellbent on interfaith “understanding” that is always and everywhere an exercise not in understanding but in moral equivalence, and in the end, helps to justify Islam, not to analyze it?
3. Even assuming that there are “moderates” with whom we can work, and assuming further that we can, somehow, detect them, distinguish them even from the “immoderates” who feign, there is still the problem of defensiveness by so many Muslims. Even those who claim to be entirely laic, perhaps even to be non-believers, still call themselves “Muslims” in most cases, and still are quick to defend Islam at a certain level. Take the otherwise seemingly rational, seemingly Western man, seemingly on-our-wave-length Kanan Makiya, who cannot bring himself to read Bat Ye’or. Doesn’t he have any interest in learning about the treatment of non-Muslims under Islam -- even to find out what evidence she has accumulated? None? And on television he came across, Fouad-Ajami-like, as one of those “good” Arabs who does not in oily fashion cover us with lies, each more slippery than the next. But the minute he felt Islam was under discussion or the mildest of attacks, having announced that he was not a believer in god “but a Muslim,” he did not join in the analysis, did not become a milder version of Ibn Warraq or Ali Sina, but rather began to talk of his “pious grandmother” with such evident devotion, as a way of demonstrating that “Islam” could not be attacked. A kind of Muslim Barbara Fretchie, presumably. Well, Islam can be analyzed, its doctrines and their effects on many hundreds of millions of people, over time and space, can be dissected -- but not, apparently, by Muslims.
That is why having something called “Islamic law” taught by Muslims in law schools is such a bad idea. Will they treat of the legal status of non-Muslims? Will they assign Antoine Fattal or Joseph Schacht, or will they, “scholarofthehouse” Khaled Abu El Fadl style, be guides to nothing, carefully listing as “Not to Be Read” all the most scholarly and truthful books about Islam, and instead list “To Be Read” their own exercises in soft propaganda? Yes, I know the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has just awarded a bunch of Bright Young Muslim Grant-Getters and Reformers a lot of money, with Khaled Abou El Fadl’s name among them, and each of their proposals more transparent than the last, or more akin to Rashid Rida’s hopeless attempts. See Gairdner, for example, on the lexical attempts of Rida to help “reform” the texts. We have been there before, and the “reformers” of the last century got nowhere, and so will these grants-getters and tenure-pushers. The canonical texts are immutable, the single interpretive principle of naskh (abrogation) unhelpful, Believers implacable, so that there is essentially nowhere to turn, nothing to do, except constrain, constrain, whittle away at, demoralize, divide, constrain. That's it.
Well, I’ve used up a perfectly good half-hour or so that I could have spent trying to understand what Christoph Luxenberg has written about the Dome of the Rock as a non-Islamic structure. But perhaps the result has helped some to be wary of the "moderate," as of the "immoderate," Muslim.