Here is another study in the useless ambiguity of the politically correct construct known as “moderate Islam.” The existence of a peaceful, tolerant version of Islamic law that is supposed to be the true legacy of Muhammad is an article of faith — indeed, a matter of dogma — among Western governments.
The problem is that “moderation” is necessarily a relative term with respect to where the supposed extremes lie, not a measure of orthodoxy or heterodoxy. Hence, “moderation” can mean one or more of three things in the current context: 1.) the brand name for the authentic Islam that we’re told has been hijacked and misunderstood by a Tiny Minority of Extremists, 2.) a lack of observance for the moment that may or may not translate into a lack of belief in the draconian aspects of Islamic law, or 3.) simply not appearing to be as bad a purported misunderstander/hijacker of Islam as the next guy: For example, “moderate Taliban.”
“Karzai Welcomes Obama Call to Reach Out to Taliban,” from the Associated Press, March 8 (thanks to all who sent this in):
KABUL “” President Hamid Karzai on Sunday welcomed President Barack Obama’s call to identify moderate elements of the Taliban and encourage them to reconcile with the Afghan government.
Unbelievable Irony Alert:
Obama’s call “was good news because this has been the stand of the Afghan government,” Karzai told a gymnasium full of Afghan women during a speech to commemorate International Women’s Day.
Ouch. Just… ouch.
Obama said in an interview with The New York Times published Sunday that there may be opportunities to reach out to moderates in the Taliban, but the situation in Afghanistan is more complicated than the challenges the American military faced in Iraq.
“There may be some comparable opportunities in Afghanistan and in the Pakistani region,” Obama said, while cautioning that solutions in Afghanistan will be complicated.
U.S. troops were able to persuade Sunni Muslim insurgents in Iraq to cooperate in some instances because they had been alienated by the tactics of Al Qaeda terrorists.
Karzai warned that there are Taliban fighters who are beyond reconciliation “” those who have joined with Al Qaeda, for instance. But he said talks should go forward “with those who are afraid to come back to their country, or who feel they have no choice but to stay with the Taliban for various reasons. They are welcome.”…