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Yes, there is a moderate Islam - let's support it
THE JERUSALEM POST ^ | Apr. 17, 2007 | Daniel Pipes,

Posted on 05/15/2007 6:37:58 AM PDT by nuconvert

Yes, there is a moderate Islam - let's support it

Daniel Pipes

THE JERUSALEM POST

Apr. 17, 2007

'What moderate Muslims?" is the near-inevitable retort to my stating that radical Islam is the problem and moderate Islam the solution.

Where are the anti-Islamists' demonstrations against terror, their combating of Islamists, their reassessments of Islamic law? I am asked.

Moderate Muslims do exist, I reply. Admittedly, they do not constitute a movement but represent mere wisps in the face of the Islamist onslaught. This means, I argue, that the US government and other powerful institutions should give priority to locating, meeting with, funding, forwarding, empowering and celebrating those brave Muslims who, at personal risk, stand up and confront the totalitarians.

A just-published study from the RAND Corporation, Building Moderate Muslim Networks, methodically takes up and thinks through this concept. Angel Rabasa, Cheryl Benard, Lowell H. Schwartz and Peter Sickle grapple intelligently with the innovative issue of helping moderate Muslims grow and prosper.

They start with the argument that "structural reasons play a large part" in the rise of radical and dogmatic interpretations of Islam in recent years - one of those reasons being the Saudi government's generous funding over the last three decades for the export of the Wahhabi version of Islam. Saudi efforts have promoted "the growth of religious extremism throughout the Muslim world," permitting the Islamists to develop powerful intellectual, political and other networks. "This asymmetry in organization and resources explains why radicals, a small minority in almost all Muslim countries, have influence disproportionate to their numbers."

The study posits a key role for Western countries here: "Moderates will not be able to successfully challenge radicals until the playing field is leveled, which the West can help accomplish by promoting the creation of moderate Muslim networks."

DOES THIS sound familiar? It resembles the late 1940s, when Soviet-backed organizations threatened Europe. The four authors provide a helpful potted history of American network-building in the early Cold War years, in part to show that such an effort can succeed against a totalitarian enemy, in part to glean ideas for use at present. (One example: "a left hook to the Kremlin is the best blow," implying that Muslims can most effectively batter Islamism.)

Reviewing American efforts to fight Islamism, the authors find these lacking, at least with regard to strengthening moderates. Washington, they find, "does not have a consistent view on who the moderates are, where the opportunities for building networks among them lie, and how best to build the networks."

They are only too right. The US government has a disastrously poor record in this regard, with an embarrassing history of twin delusions: either thinking Islamists are moderates, or hoping to win them over. Such government figures as FBI director Robert S. Mueller III, State Department undersecretary Karen Hughes, and National Endowment for Democracy head Carl Gershman wrong-headedly insist on consorting with the enemy.

Instead, the RAND study promotes four partners: secularists, liberal Muslims, moderate traditionalists, and some Sufis. It particularly emphasizes the "emerging transnational network of laicist and secularist individuals, groups, and movements," and correctly urges cooperation with these neglected friends.

In contrast, the study proposes de-emphasizing the Middle East, and particularly the Arab world. Because this area "offers less fertile ground for moderate network and institution building than other regions of the Muslim world," it wants Western governments to focus on Muslims in Southeast Asia, the Balkans and in the Western diaspora, and to help make available their ideas in Arabic.

This novel stratagem defies a centuries'-old pattern of influence emanating from the Middle East, but it is well worth a try.

EVEN THE generally hard-headed RAND study sometimes lets down its guard. Dismayingly, the quartet refrains from condemning Washington for dialoguing with lawful Islamists even as it cautiously endorses European governments treating some Islamists as partners. It mistakenly characterizes the US-based "Progressive Muslim Union" as promoting secular Islam, when it is really another Islamist organization, but with a hip tone. (No other Islamists dared host a feature called "Sex and the Umma.")

Building Moderate Muslim Networks is not the final word on its subject but it marks a major step toward the systematic reconfiguring of how to implement Washington's policy to combat Islamism. The study's meaty contents, clear analysis and bold recommendations usefully move the debate forward, offering precisely the in-depth strategizing Westerners urgently need.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: blameamericafirst; dhimmitude; islam; moderatemuslims; muhammadsminions; muslim; pipes; rop
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1 posted on 05/15/2007 6:38:04 AM PDT by nuconvert
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To: Valin; zimdog

Pong


2 posted on 05/15/2007 6:40:03 AM PDT by nuconvert ([there are bad people in the pistachio business] (...but his head is so tiny...))
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To: nuconvert

Can someone explain how one can follow the Koran and be a, “Moderate Muslim?”


3 posted on 05/15/2007 6:42:51 AM PDT by JayAr36 (No Party, just a Conservative.)
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To: nuconvert

Yeah. Let’s support all 12 moderate muslims in the world before they go extinct or are brought back into line.


4 posted on 05/15/2007 6:42:52 AM PDT by 50mm (algore uses 20 times as much energy as me)
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To: nuconvert

When it comes down to the nitty gritty, guess who those mods are going to support!

You cannot trust any Muzzie!


5 posted on 05/15/2007 6:43:15 AM PDT by Coldwater Creek
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To: Coldwater Creek

I trust Muzzies...one W88 at a time.


6 posted on 05/15/2007 6:44:10 AM PDT by DCBryan1 (Arm Pilots&Teachers. Build the Wall. Export Illegals. Profile Muslims.Kill all child molesters RFN!)
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To: nuconvert
I know a lot of the secularists. They are born Muslim, but eschew the mosque, enjoy an alcoholic beverage or two now and then, dress western, emulate western culture and even make fun of the very devout.

That comment above tends to bring out the screaming know-it-alls, but they'll just have to deal with it. Here...I'll even say the phrase that sends them into orbit: Not all Muslims are terrorists. ;-)

7 posted on 05/15/2007 6:44:21 AM PDT by Allegra (Hey! Quiet Down Out There!)
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To: Valin

I didn’t even get to count to ten before they showed up
LoL


8 posted on 05/15/2007 6:45:12 AM PDT by nuconvert ([there are bad people in the pistachio business] (...but his head is so tiny...))
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To: Allegra
"There may be moderate muslims, but there is no moderate islam." Ibn Aqqid.

L

9 posted on 05/15/2007 6:45:16 AM PDT by Lurker (Comparing 'moderate' islam to 'extremist' islam is like comparing small pox to plague.)
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To: JayAr36

Islamic teaching says it’s OK to lie to, steal from, cheat, enslave, rape and kill “the infidel” because we aren’t human.


10 posted on 05/15/2007 6:45:23 AM PDT by MrB (You can't reason people out of a position that they didn't use reason to get into in the first place)
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To: nuconvert

Not if they are following the satanic verses of the koran!!!


11 posted on 05/15/2007 6:45:24 AM PDT by Lewite (Praise YAHWEH and Proclaim His Wonderful Name! Islam, the end time Beast-the harlot of Babylon.)
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To: nuconvert

I knew it... we should’a supported the moderate Nazi’s!


12 posted on 05/15/2007 6:46:50 AM PDT by johnny7 ("Issue in Doubt." -Col. David Monroe Shoup, USMC 1943)
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To: Allegra
I’m waiting for one moderate Muslim to criticize his brother terrorists. Still waiting...
13 posted on 05/15/2007 6:47:03 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (BTUs are my Beat.)
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To: nuconvert

No


14 posted on 05/15/2007 6:49:36 AM PDT by Sue Perkick (And I hope that what Iíve done here today doesnít force you to have a negative opinion of meÖ.)
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To: nuconvert
I'm more than happy to support true moderate Muslims. The question is, will they support us?

Islam, whatever else it is, seems to be a quasi-tribal identity. Its adherents, therefore, seem to have a real hard time ever truly identifying with a non-Muslim group of people in any significant conflict with a Muslim group of people.

Even the most "moderate" Muslims in the West will still feel a tinge of sympathy for their "Palestinian brothers" (regardless of whether the person is Palestinian, or even Arab). Contrast this with how the West treated the Serbs - only on the Buchananite fringe did you hear anyone speak of them as our "Christian brothers" and advocate not bombing them on those grounds. To the mainstream of Western thought, such a view doesn't even compute.

Why is this? Because - unlike Christianity - Islam is not just a religion, and not just an ideology, but also a global, quasi-tribe.

And there may be moderates in a religion (people who don't follow all the religion's tenets, take them too literally, etc.) and moderates in an ideology (people who don't adhere to the ideology's beliefs to an extreme), but there is really no such thing as "moderate" tribalism; you either identify with the tribe against the other, or you don't.

So the real question is, the Muslims who we are supposed to consider moderates - are they willing to abandon their tribalism?

15 posted on 05/15/2007 6:52:58 AM PDT by Dr. Frank fan
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To: johnny7; Sue Perkick; Allegra

Do you realize that our military works along side of and depends upon the help from moderate muslims every single day?

Would you like to ask our men and women in uniform what they think of your attitude?

Thanks for your input, Allegra


16 posted on 05/15/2007 6:55:17 AM PDT by nuconvert ([there are bad people in the pistachio business] (...but his head is so tiny...))
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To: nuconvert

In Turkey recently there have been huge protests in favor of secular government. I've seen estimates as high as 1.5 million protesting the current Islamic ruling party. I can't imagine anything that would get 1.5 million Americans to take to the streets.

17 posted on 05/15/2007 6:55:47 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (Parker v. DC: the best court decision of the year.)
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To: JayAr36
Can someone explain how one can follow the Koran and be a, “Moderate Muslim?”

Of course you can't. That is why the heretics (moderates) can't win a debate in a Mosque against a fundamentalist. The fundamentalists have the Koran and the example set by Muhammed in the Hadiths on their side.

The moderates are nothing more than heretics who want to alter Islam to accommodate their secular lifestyle and their collaboration with us Infidels.

They are nothing more than our useful idiots. They should get out of the religion, as many have. It's risky, but tampering with the religion is risky also.

The moderates can't abide by the harshness of the religious requirements set forward in the Koran and Hadiths- tom

18 posted on 05/15/2007 6:56:00 AM PDT by Capt. Tom (Don't confuse the Bushies with the dumb Republicans - Capt. Tom)
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To: nuconvert

“This means, I argue, that the US government and other powerful institutions should give priority to locating, meeting with, funding, forwarding, empowering and celebrating those brave Muslims who, at personal risk, stand up and confront the totalitarians. “

And thus insuring that they are seen as nothing but puppets of the “evil United states”....which the Islamists will gleefully portray them as. If the so called moderates want to be taken seriously then they are going to have to stand up on their own initiative.


19 posted on 05/15/2007 6:56:03 AM PDT by Dreagon
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To: nuconvert
Inside the mosques, there are no moderate muslims..........
20 posted on 05/15/2007 6:56:57 AM PDT by Red Badger (My gerund got caught in my diphthong, and now I have a dangling participle...............)
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