The courageous and insightful Daniel Pipes offers a succinct guide to identifying Muslim moderates. I look forward to seeing Muslim groups and individuals declaring that they fit these reasonable and intelligent criteria.
Pipes includes important information about Abdurrahman Alamoudi and other deceptive self-proclaimed moderates, and offers these criteria for identifying real moderate Muslims:
“- Violence : Do you condone or condemn the Palestinians, Chechens, and Kashmiris who give up their lives to kill enemy civilians? Will you condemn by name as terrorist groups such organizations as Abu Sayyaf, Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya, Groupe islamique arm\’e9e, Hamas, Harakat ul-Mujahidin, Hizbullah, Islamic Jihad, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, and Al-Qaeda?
“- Modernity : Should Muslim women have equal rights with men (for example, in inheritance shares or court testimony)? Is jihad , meaning a form of warfare, acceptable in today’s world? Do you accept the validity of other religions? Do Muslims have anything to learn from the West?”
About jihad, this is just as I have said here: “Any Muslim who renounces violent jihad and dhimmitude is welcome to join in our anti-jihadist efforts.”
About accepting the validity of other religions, I might add that clarity is necessary: it is not enough for Muslims to avow respect for “Judaism and Christianity,” but for “Judaism and Christianity in their present forms” — that is, as distinguished from the pure, uncorrupted Judaism and Christianity that are in traditional Islam equated with the religion of the Qur’an.
“- Secularism : Should non-Muslims enjoy completely equal civil rights with Muslims? May Muslims convert to other religions? May Muslim women marry non-Muslim men? Do you accept the laws of a majority non-Muslim government and unreservedly pledge allegiance to that government? Should the state impose religious observance, such as banning food service during Ramadan? When Islamic customs conflict with secular laws (e.g., covering the face for drivers’ license pictures), which should give way?
“- Islamic pluralism : Are Sufis and Shi’ites fully legitimate Muslims? Do you see Muslims who disagree with you as having fallen into unbelief? Is takfir (condemning fellow Muslims one has disagreements with as unbelievers) an acceptable practice?”
Takfir, of course, is one justification radical Muslims can use for attacks in places such as Turkey.
“- Self-criticism : Do you accept the legitimacy of scholarly inquiry into the origins of Islam? Who was responsible for the 9/11 suicide hijackings?
“- Defense against militant Islam : Do you accept enhanced security measures to fight militant Islam, even if this means extra scrutiny of yourself (for example, at airline security)? Do you agree that institutions accused of funding terrorism should be shut down, or do you see this a symptom of bias?
“- Goals in the West : Do you accept that Western countries are majority-Christian and secular or do you seek to transform them into majority-Muslim countries ruled by Islamic law?”