A Call to Moderate Muslims
08 April, 2007
Dear Muslims, your right to think for yourself and choose what you believe was denied to you from birth. In return, your mind was crammed, without let up, with constant threats of dreadful punishments if you tried to retrieve your rights and promises of glorious rewards if you meekly accepted the collaborative action of your parents, relatives, and the vested-interest clergy.
You became a Muslim, by accident of birth, although above all else you are a human being. You have the right and the obligation to examine the belief implanted in you and to decide for yourself if it is the guidance you want.
This is the 21st century. The vast planet earth of the time of Muhammad has shrunk into a global village. The greatly diverse and disparate peoples of the world are now neighbors in the same village. This new tribe of the global village is facing immense challenges and opportunities. The resources and the talents of the various clans can no longer be squandered on internecine fighting. Every member of every clan, irrespective of gender, race, or any other consideration is entitled to full citizenship, a just citizenship that bestows privileges and demands responsibilities.
Radical Islam claims to be the true Islam and strives to force humanity into submission to a system of beliefs and practices of Sharia which are anathema to freedom. Even Muslims who do not agree with the extremist Islam are intimidated, pressured into silence, and condemned to death.
“The world is a dangerous place not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing,” said Albert Einstein. It is incumbent on every Muslim to arise and counter Islamism. In this courageous effort, the non-Islamist Muslims can count on the unflagging support of free people.
The problem facing humanity today is reminiscent of an earlier and equally sinister practice of slavery in America. A handful of northern whites, motivated by the high human ideals of freedom and justice, rose against slavery. They were the abolitionists who believed that slavery was evil. The abolitionists risked a great deal fighting to free the terribly-wronged black people. Over time, the movement gathered momentum, more and more black people shattered the shackles of slavery and banded with more and more awakened non-slaves to put an end to the horrific scourge of slavery.
Free people are committed to defend the rights of Muslims to observe peaceful Islam because they believe in the sanctity of freedom. By standing for Muslims’ legitimate human rights, free people also guard their own freedom.
Today’s scourge is the radical Islam that denies the non-Muslims as well as the moderate Muslims the inalienable right of freedom, freedom to choose whom and how to worship, how to live in harmony with people who make different choices, and how to pool together in overcoming the myriad of challenges that demand humanity’s united and best efforts.
While the moderate Muslims are generally silent, either out of fear, lack of organization, or apathy, the Islamists work around the clock and around the world to further their agenda. Hardly a week passes without a Grand Mufti or an Ayatollah issuing pronouncements in support of radical Islam. The rank-and-file Islamist clergy, for their part, transmit these fatwas and edicts to their flocks in mosques and hammer them into the minds of impressionable children in madressehs. Through this grass-root process, radical Islam is recruiting greater and greater numbers of adherents. On the one hand, the Islamists engage in acts of violence to disrupt the functioning of societies, while on the other they cleverly exploit the freedom they enjoy in non-Islamic lands to subvert them from within.
As a moderate Muslim, you can no longer remain a spectator in the existential clash of Islamism with freedom. The best guarantee for you to practice Islam as a religion of peace is to rally with those who are guardians of freedom. You also need to examine what kind of life the Islamists aim to impose, by whatever means they can, on everyone. Even a partial brief examination of what constitutes radical Islam should be enough to persuade every righteous Muslim to oppose and defeat it.
The great majority of Muslims are not adherents of the radical line. Yet because the Islamists wage their war under the name of Islam, they receive immense direct and indirect support from the rank-and-file ordinary Muslims. It is this support of moderate Muslims that keeps the Islamists alive. And it is the Islamists who intend to show no mercy to any and all who do not share their theology, be they Muslims or not.
The brand of Islam that the Islamists hold sacred, whether of the numerous Sunni or many Shia varieties, is replete with beliefs and practices that range from the absurd to the profane. It is a great travesty to any human to be forced to adopt the entire package of the Islamists’ dictates.
The Islamists have searched the scripture and have selectively chosen those statements and precedence that they could use to legitimize their violent and primitive agenda. The Jihadists, for instance, claim that the Quran itself urges them to make jihad, “jahedoo fee sabeil-u-llah,” make jihad for the cause of Allah. The word “jihad” has at least two vastly different meanings. It means exertion. It also stands for making war, and it is the latter that the jihadists invoke as their mandate.
The Sunni radicalism is directed by a host of movements such as Wahabism, Al Qaeda, Hamas, and the Moslem Brotherhood. For now, however, let us take a brief-look at Shia radicalism based on the teachings and pronouncements of the late Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran, a man revered by the world’s Shia as “Imam,” a title that has been exclusive to the twelve successive descendants of Muhammad who headed the sect. Shia theologians as well as the rank-and-file faithful view Khomeini’s writings and sayings as religiously authoritative, illuminating, and binding. It is instructive to list a few teachings of this most-revered and exalted cleric who has been the father of Shia radicalism and a point-man in the war against all people he deemed as infidels.
“Islam alone is to govern.”
“We must give rise to repeated crises, and give a new and better value to the idea of death and martyrdom... If Iran disappears in the future, it is not important; what is important is to drown the whole world in a situation of crisis.”
“Those who want to set up democracy want to drag our country into corruption and perdition. They are worse than the Jews. They must be hanged. They are not men. They have the blood of animals. Be they damned.”
“All the laws in the world, except those of the Islamic republic, come from a handful of idiotic syphilitics. They are null and void. Islam does not recognize any other law but its own in the world.”
This man of great adulation and emulation of the Islamists, Khomeini, was indeed a bloodthirsty as well as an ignorant person who issued great many dangerous and absurd pronouncements that are taken as edicts and laws to be followed by the faithful. Some examples are:
He gave order to the Iranian Air Force to destroy American satellites, and ordered the ministry of agriculture to flood the American market with Iranian wheat so as to make the economy of the "Great Satan" dependent on (Iranian wheat), even though Iran itself has usually been importer of wheat.
A great deal of Khomeini’s adjudications are concerned with matters such as the way to urinate and to defecate; what is pure and what is impure; women and their periods; sexuality with animals.
The hatred of Khomeini for the Jews surpassed that of Hitler. He proclaimed:
“Israel must burn to ashes.”
It is from this command that his devoted pupil, the fascist president Ahmadinejad, gets his marching orders to “wipe Israel off the map.” Before Ahmadinejad, another president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, mullah Ali Akbar Refsanjani, announced that a nuclear exchange will destroy Israel while the Islamic world can tolerate and survive the damage.
This sort of Armageddon-thinking and agenda is not exclusive to the Shia Islamists. The Sunni jihadists’ program is just as regressive, oppressive, and violent.
In conclusion, dear moderate Muslim, if this is not your Islam, if you do not subscribe to its tenets and plans, and you do not want to live under the barbaric provisions of Sharia, then you need to speak up, rise up, and actively confront it. You can be assured that the free people of the world are committed to join rank with you to defeat radical Islam.