Recently a gentleman dropped in here to call me, Hugh, and some Jihad Watch posters various names, and to attack the site and our anti-jihad efforts on grounds so obviously spurious that it is not worth taking him seriously enough to answer at length. But he did offer one useful bit of information: a definition of what constitutes a moderate Muslim individual or group, courtesy the Rand Corporation (pdf here):
–Does the group (or individual) support or condone violence? If it does not support or condone violence now, has it supported or condoned it in the past?
— Does it support democracy? And if so, does it define democracy broadly in terms of individual rights?
— Does it support internationally recognized human rights?
— Does it make any exceptions (e.g., regarding freedom of religion)?
— Does it believe that changing religions is an individual right?
— Does it believe the state should enforce the criminal-law component of shari”a?
— Does it believe the state should enforce the civil-law component of shari”a? Or does it believe there should be non-shari”a options for those who prefer civil-law matters to be adjudicated under a secular legal system?
— Does it believe that members of religious minorities should be entitled to the same rights as Muslims?
— Does it believe that a member of a religious minority could hold high political office in a Muslim majority country?
— Does it believe that members of religious minorities are entitled to build and run institutions of their faith (churches and synagogues) in Muslim majority countries?
— Does it accept a legal system based on nonsectarian legal principles?
That all sounds great, and longtime Jihad Watch readers will know that those are exactly the kinds of things I have called for many times from sincere Muslim reformers. Now the burning question is: where is there a Muslim group that affirms all this, sincerely, and backs up its words with deeds?
Suggestions/nominations welcome. The Rand report itself goes on simply to suggest various kinds of people among which such groups may be found — it is telling that it doesn’t simply follow these criteria with a list of the Muslim groups that fit the bill, but instead lists a number of groups with suspect credentials. And the addled poster who pointed us all to this followed it up with a citation of the Robert Leiken farrago on the Muslim Brotherhood. Oops.